- Josef Koller
Home prices are UP in Arlington but not for much longer
Amazon’s impending move to Northern Virginia has had a significant impact on home list prices in Arlington County, a new analysis by online real estate platform Realtor.com finds. The median list price for a home there has grown 17 percent since last November, when the Seattle-based tech giant announced that it would locate its “HQ2” corporate offices in what Virginia officials, local developers, and Amazon have dubbed the “National Landing” area.
“At the time of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement in November 2018, Arlington’s median home price was $640,000,” says a release from Realtor.com. “The median home price in the area has sky-rocketed since then, increasing by a whopping $110,000 or 17.3 percent to $750,000 in April. Comparatively, over the same time frame, the national median list price has only increased $17,000 or 5.5 percent.” The platform adds that Arlington’s real estate market is “unable to keep up with overwhelming demand,” as its inventory fell more than 40 percent.
Fewer than 400 Arlington homes were on the market as of April, down from almost 600 as of November, Realtor.com points out. Experts have warned that in the absence of a concurrent increase in housing supply, the “Amazon effect” could render the D.C. area less affordable for middle- and low-income families. Home sales in Arlington surged 50 percent year-over-year immediately after the company’s announcement; area realtors told Washingtonian that they were inundated at the time with inquires about buying property in and around Crystal City.
There’s some evidence to suggest that people are looking a little farther afield for homes. “The number of active listings in the Northern Virginia area fell 22.5 percent since April 2018, and half of all homes sold rapidly in under 34 days,” Realtor.com says. “Meanwhile, median list prices were up 2.3 percent year-over-year, and reached $545,000 in April.”
Amazon last week submitted development plans for its new headquarters with Arlington County. The plans include two, 22-story office buildings across 2 million-plus square feet.
However, taking all into account, Amazon certainly won't move thousands of people instantly into the area. A majority of "Amazonians" will be local and already in the area. It will also take several years for the regional HQ2 to take hold and be fully functional and filled with employees. I am convinced that the recent spike in home prices is just a temporary effect to the excited that the HQ2 announcement generated. Soon, home price tends will go back to normal. In addition, one may need to considered an impeding recession due to the trade wars.
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