With Amazon having decided the final locations for their second US headquarters, a project called HQ2, the DC Metro area has buzzed with excitement over landing the vaunted contract in conjunction with Long Island. With Amazon deciding to split HQ2, Crystal City in Northern Virginia and DC Metro was a long-lasting contender and eventual winner.
Bids for HQ2 had preoccupied almost every major metro area in the United States (240 communities countrywide) for 14 months. Cities winning the bid expected many perks, including hundreds of well-paying tech jobs, and the commerce that the headquarters brings along with them. Amazon eventually chose to split the new HQ2 between Long Island City and Crystal City, splitting the 50,000 jobs, the development work and investment, as well as the burden to local transport infrastructure—something that surely played a role in the decision to choose two areas with well-established existing metro systems.
With the promise of Amazon now comes a flood of people wanting to move to Arlington County in Northern Virginia. The decision makes sense on many fronts. Located across the Potomac River from Washington, the area has plenty of other things going for it, including excellent quality of life, fantastic schools, temperate weather, and proximity to most of the big cities on the Eastern seaboard. Buyers are flooding the market, eager to buy a home in Northern Virginia.
The only problem? There aren’t enough houses for sale to accommodate everyone who wants to move to the area and be part of the excitement. This same issue may play out in Long Island City, as well. In fact, NoVA homes-for-sale inventory is down by eight percent over this same time period last year. Even as we head into the holidays, a time of year that is historically uneventful in real estate, the market is blazing hot.
Agents are cautioning clients to keep a cool head. From Realtor.com:
“Geva Lester of Keller Williams Realty said her office is advising clients to act normally — with the caveat to be cautious that an HQ2 announcement could affect the market. How the market will be affected, however, is still unclear and will depend on when and at what pace Amazon executes its move.”
Realtors are reporting that prospective buyers at area open houses constantly have Amazon on their lips now that Crystal City got the bid.
Even by splitting its headquarters between two different cities, Northern Virginia real estate will continually prove to be a hot commodity—not great for existing residents thinking of buying a home. As cities like New York and Virginia promised vast tax breaks and incentives, as well as help with infrastructure upgrades and job-training programs, the NY Times anticipated there could be some fall out:
“Some economists and policymakers warned against using public money to help one of the most valuable companies in the world, and of the potential for escalating housing costs and traffic.
Despite the fact that home prices will likely soar, and both rentals and sales will be in short supply until builders can catch up, both states feel like the transformational opportunity for diverse jobs was too great to pass up for the state, and its economy.