Amazon’s HQ2 making waves in Washington-area housing

By Housing News

While all eyes are on Amazon today for Cyber Monday, the news of its HQ2 may only be a distant memory. 

Believe it or not, it’s been over a year since the tech monolith announced its second headquarter would find a home in Arlington County, Virginia, at Crystal City, and Queens, New York at Long Island City. Only three months later, Amazon backed out of headquartering in New York and focused solely on Crystal City.

With over a year in the rearview mirror, released a report recently on the effect that the news of HQ2 had on surrounding housing markets. According to the report, areas around both D.C. and New York experienced sizable changes in the wake of both announcements. 

According to the report, New York City is now sitting at a 15% decline in home sales, year over year. 

“At the time of the announcement, Manhattan saw a massive leap in home sales of 50%,” the report stated. “Sales in Manhattan maintained strong double-digit growth until February, when Amazon decided to pull out of New York. At that point, sales growth immediately decelerated and then started declining. The median sale price in Manhattan currently sits at $1.04 million, down 15% year over year.”

The story differs substantially around Washington, D.C., however. 

“One year after Amazon selected Arlington, Va., as the site of its new HQ2, the impact on the housing market has been pronounced,” the report says. “Massive inventory shortages, sky-high price spikes and a blistering pace of sales are now the norm in the metro surrounding Amazon’s second headquarters, propelling it to one of the nation’s hottest housing markets.”

To put it in numbers, said sales in Arlington increased 21% year over year, almost immediately following the HQ2 announcement. Not long after, the area’s median listing price increased 17% and continued to go up. As of October, the median listing price in Arlington County reached $863,000, up 33% year over year, according to the report. 

No surprise here: a lack of inventory in the face of massive demand was a large part of the blame for large price appreciation. 

“As of October 2019, active listings in Arlington County were down 49% year over year. Without inventory available to meet current demand, buyers are extending their home search farther out. In Northern Virginia, which is made up of 14 counties, active listings are down 26% year over year,” the report stated.


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