Only five days after reports that Amazon would split its highly-publicized HQ2 project into two cities, interest in Crystal City, Va., and Long Island City, N.Y. properties has surged.
The online retail giant — which confirmed Tuesday that it actually will be building offices in the two locations — plans to create 50,000 high-paying jobs at the two locations, prompting real estate investors to explore their next potential investments.
Though the news that the HQ2 project would be split into two cities likely tempered prospective property value increases, it hasn’t curbed excited onlookers’ searches, according to the real estate brokerage Redfin.
“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,” said Redfin agent Mara Gemmond. “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.”
Calling the Amazon announcement the beginning of a “horse race,” Gemmond reported that online views of its listings in the two areas are surging. In the first 11 days of November, views of homes for sale in Long Island City catapulted 794 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Views of listings in Crystal City were up 210 percent year over year, according to Redfin.
While home prices likely will rise in the two cities, the impact on housing might not be as significant in the two metro areas as compared to some of the other 20 finalists, according to a study from Apartment List Inc. Rents would increase by less than 0.5 percent in Crystal City, Va., and Long Island City, N.Y., as compared to 4.8 percent in Denver, Colorado, the study found.
Market Watch also observed that the prospective rise in home values would largely fall in step with recent trends in the two cities. Since 2013, home values in New York City have increased a whopping 42.5 percent, and prices in Arlington County, Va., have grown 15.5 percent, according to Market Watch. During the same period, home values in Amazon’s original headquarters, Seattle, have swelled 73 percent.