Property Frenzy Ahead of Amazon’s HQ2 Announcement

November 12, 2018

Amazon is narrowing the list of cities for its second headquarters, announcing last week that it will pick two locations for what’s been dubbed “HQ2.” The list reportedly has been narrowed to Crystal City, Va.; Long Island City, N.Y.; and Dallas.

Amazon logotype printed on cardboard box

© AdrianHancu - iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

Property frenzies have been sparked in Crystal City and Long Island City in anticipation that they’ll be the chosen two. Real estate brokerage Redfin reports that online views of listings in the two areas are skyrocketing. In the first seven days of November, views of listings in Long Island City surged 648 percent compared to a year ago. Views of listings in Crystal City rose 371 percent over last year, Redfin reports.

Redfin agent Mara Gemmond says that she had a two-bedroom condo in Crystal City that has been on the market for several weeks, but since Amazon narrowed its list last week, showings have drastically increased. “I believe there is a lot of interest from investors who want a property they can rent out to a future Amazon employee or possibly use for corporate housing,” Gemmond says. “Investors are betting that prices will rise quickly, and they’ll be able to rent or sell for a nice profit once Amazon comes to town.”

While still speculative, some buyers are taking action before Amazon’s final announcement. They’re trying to “get ahead of the news and the increase in demand and prices that is likely to result,” says Leslie White, a real estate professional in Washington, D.C. “At the same time, prospective sellers right now are weighing whether it makes sense to delay putting their home up for sale to see if they can get more for their home after Amazon makes its announcement.”

A year ago, Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, announced plans to create a second headquarters, setting off a frenzy among 238 cities across the country who were vying to be the chosen location. Originally, Amazon said that whichever city it chose would see 50,000 new jobs, which largely has been predicted to set off an economic and housing boom. If Amazon divides its second headquarters between two sites, each city would add about 25,000 employees.