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Impact of Amazon HQ2

Amazon Arlingotn

This weekend the Washington Post published an article stating Amazon has narrowed their sights on Crystal City (Arlington VA) corridor for the company’s sought after HQ2 campus.

The Post wrote “The discussions were more detailed than those the company has had regarding other locations in Northern Virginia and some other cities nationally, adding to speculation that the site in Arlington County is a front-runner to land the online retail giant’s second North American headquarters and its 50,000 jobs.”

This bombshell report only adds to the frenzy of excitement that already exists in the DMV around the topic of Amazon relocating thousands of high paying employees to our area. Every home buyer and seller I’ve worked with this year has at least mentioned Amazon while they’ve evaluated the market. I know people that are NOT selling in certain Northern VA markets because they’ve convinced HQ2 will land in their backyard, and with that an enormous spike in their home’s value.

My thoughts on HQ2 impact…

-Assuming Amazon relocates their headquarters to Northern VA, all property values from Loudoun County to DC proper will be positively impacted. Period. No one city/town will be significantly better off. Think about our housing market now. There’s LOTS of diversity in housing and people are scattered about. Some people prefer to live close to the action and are okay with a smaller bungalow house or condo in Arlington while others want space, land, and the sense of community Reston offers. Not everyone needs or wants to live right next to their place of employment, and HQ2 won’t change that. Don’t underestimate options to move people such as metro, commuter share lines, telework, etc..

-Nothing of this scale and size will happen overnight, nor will the positive consequences be felt instantly. YOUR PROPERTY’S VALUE – EVEN IF IT’S A BLOCK AWAY FROM HQ2 – WILL NOT DOUBLE IN VALUE OVERNIGHT. I repeat, no buyer will pay a crazy price for your property just because you live in the same town as HQ2. What’s more realistic is over time your property will outpace market averages in appreciation and pay dividends in a longer hold.

-The economic impact of 50k high paying will be a lot like having the Federal Government workforce nearby (which we’re used to). The economic benefits will be felt across a number of sectors and promise to bring stability to our local economy and housing markets. The greatest impact HQ2 would bring to our region is stability in our economy, not necessarily economic a boom as many speculate. Stability and certainty in housing means greater protection of your real estate assets and more opportunities to make money in real estate holdings. That’s a wonderful thing that any metro market in the US would lust for. The next housing downturn could cut real estate prices 20-40% on average so having insurance against the impact of that in the DC markets is incredibly valuable and worth the excitement!

-The capital investments Amazon would make in the HQ2 area are in the billions. New schools, roads, transit options, technology, and the like are as valuable to housing as the jobs/salaries themselves. This underestimated factor would be a game changer for NoVA and DC!

So those are some of my thoughts. Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments!

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