It's official: Northern Virginia has felt the Amazon effect.
A year ago, Amazon
announced their plans to build a couple of new headquarters as part of the so-called "HQ2" project: One in New York City, and another in Virginia. But months after that announcement, Amazon decided not to move forward with the Big Apple headquarters and leave the region around Arlington, Va., As the only home of HQ2.
In Virginia, house prices remain seriously high, while New York prices have fallen since Amazon withdrew from plans for a large campus there. Originally, home prices in Northern Virginia rose 21
Amazon's plans to build its second headquarters ignited harsh criticism and protests among affordable housing advocates who worried that the project would aggravate the ability of existing residents to find a place to live.
Researchers pointed to Amazon's original Seattle home as a warning: home prices there had risen almost 73% over the past five years when the technology company announced the HQ2 plans.
There may have been cause for concern in Northern Virginia, according to a new analysis by Realtor.com. In both New York and Northern Virginia, the HQ2 announcement led to a significant increase in home sales, as investors and prospective HQ2 employees increased real estate in anticipation of Amazon's arrival.
(Realtor.com is operated by News Corp
subsidiary Move Inc., and MarketWatch is a unit of Dow Jones, which is also a subsidiary of News Corp.)
Read more: Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon spend billions of dollars on affordable housing – but the money may be too little, too late.
Prices have not only risen in the wake of the announcement – there has also been a huge shortage of housing across Northern Virginia that people who want to get money on Amazon's arrival bought home, the report suggested. In the 14 counties in Northern Virginia, the number of homes for sale has fallen 26% over the past year.
In Arlington County, the list numbers are half of what they were before Amazon came into the picture. The number of homes for sale in Arlington has fallen by half. Home sells within 28 days, which is 10 days shorter than the period last registered a year ago.
Also see: Here's what would have caused Virginia to step away from an Amazon HQ2 deal
“The impact of the company's expansion in suburbs of Washington, DC is diverging along homeowners' lines, with homeowners experiencing noticeable stock gains and buyers feeling the sting of higher prices, "said George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.
" Homeowners and investors have been selling, pending prices will only continue to rise further, which has amplified the area's inventory shortage and increased house prices further, and tested the area's limits on what buyers are willing to pay, "Ratiu said.
An Amazon spokeswoman said that claims about HQ2's effect on house prices are hypothetical, and that the impact in Arlington was probably driven by speculative sellers and buyers. The spokeswoman also argued that it is inaccurate to suggest a direct correlation between Amazon's hiring and housing prices in Arlington and Seattle. Seattle prices are dropping significantly even as Amazon and other local employers grow, she said. The price of housing is a complex issue influenced by local regulatory laws, she added.
Meanwhile, Amazon has responded to the affordable crisis crisis in Northern Virginia by donating $ 5 million to a nonprofit developer and $ 3 million to a community foundation to address homelessness.
See also: This is what Amazon's 'HQ2' should cost New York taxpayers