Local agents say Amazon’s second headquarters, located in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, is a factor for nearly every homebuyer and seller this season.
In April, six months after Amazon announced it would open a second headquarters in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, the median home-sale price in Arlington was up 17.7 percent annually to $655,000 and the typical home that sold went under contract in just six days, down from 10 days last year. Housing supply was down 41.8 percent year over year, the biggest annual drop since March 2013.
“Sellers in Arlington are excited. It’s nice to have people nearly begging to buy your property,” said local Redfin agent Marcia Burgos-Stone. “But for homebuyers, the market is challenging. Inventory is low because investors are snapping up properties and some would-be sellers have decided to hang onto their homes for a year or two because they believe their values will continue to rise. There are a lot of people in the area who aren’t Amazon employees, and some of them may find it difficult to find and afford homes in the coming years.”
Local Redfin agent Mara Gemond said the Amazon announcement started to have a noticeable impact on the real estate market within weeks and the effect has become more and more pronounced in the months since then, with nearly every homebuyer mentioning Amazon as a factor in their home search.
“The Arlington market is smoking hot,” Gemond said. “I can’t remember the last time I had a client make an offer that didn’t face competition. Over the last few months, most of my homebuyer clients cite one of two scenarios, and speculation about Amazon’s impact is part of the thought process for both: They want to buy now either because they’re concerned they’ll soon be priced out of the market, or to secure an investment property for rental and future resale.”
Burgos-Stone, who works mainly with home sellers, said Amazon’s new campus is a major factor in pricing strategy.
“People are pricing their homes $10,000 or $20,000 higher than they were before the Amazon announcement,” she continued. “Every condo for sale is flying off the market. I’ve worked with a few sellers who sold their homes to investors hoping to rent them out to new Amazon employees.”
The Washington, D.C., metro, which encompasses Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church in addition to several other parts of Virginia and some areas in Maryland, was the third fastest major U.S. market in April, with the typical home under contract in 10 days. The only places where homes sold faster were Amazon’s hometown of Seattle and nearby Tacoma, Washington (located about 35 miles south of Seattle), where the typical home that sold in April in each area went under contract in nine days.
Alexandria and Falls Church are also heating up in their own right, though not as much, with homes going under contract in less than a week as inventory plummets by double digits. In those cities, prices have yet to surge like they have in Arlington, but that may be on the horizon as they see growing shares of homes sell for above list price and sellers less frequently having to drop their prices compared to last year.
The table below includes April housing stats for Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church, along with stats for the Washington, D.C. metro area and the U.S. as a whole.
|Arlington, VA||Alexandria, VA||Falls Church, VA||Washington, D.C. metro||National|
|Median sale price||$655,000||$495,000||$575,000||$420,000||$309,000|
|Median sale price, YoY change||17.7%||1.9%||-0.9%||2.7%||3.1%|
|Home sales, YoY change||-4.7%||0.2%||3.2%||2.5%||-3.9%|
|Inventory, YoY change||-41.8%||-41%||-28.1%||-4.8%||0%|
|Days on market||6||5||6||10||40|
|Days on market, YoY change||-4||-5||-6||-4||0|
|Percent sold above asking||44.6%||47.5%||41.8%||34.9%||22.4%|
|Percent sold above asking, percentage point change from a year ago||13.2 pts.||16.1 pts.||24.6 pts.||3.8 pts.||-4.4 pts.|
|Share of homes with a price drop||20.5%||22.7%||24.1%||25%||23.7%|
|Share of homes with a price drop, percentage point change from a year ago||-1.1 pts.||-6.5 pts.||-14.8 pts.||-1.9%||2.7 pts.|
So far, the impact of Amazon on real estate in Arlington and its surrounding areas is mostly speculative, as Amazon just started hiring for jobs in its remaining HQ2 (it cancelled plans to build a similarly sized office in New York City in February) at the end of April. Gemond and Burgos-Stone both said that the increased interest from homebuyers is mainly from people who already live in the area, whether they’re investors or people who want to buy before prices go up even more.
“A home’s value isn’t only determined by who is interested in living in the home today, but also who will be interested in living in the home in the future,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “That’s why we are already seeing home prices being bid up near Amazon HQ2, long before the campus is fully staffed. As Amazon employees do move to the area, there will likely be even more jobs created—for lawyers, accountants, and other professionals and businesses looking to add HQ2 employees to their customer base. The area’s economy is primed to grow for the foreseeable future, so the home price appreciation we are seeing today is only the beginning.”
Check out these Redfin listings that mention proximity to Amazon’s HQ2
Below, we’ve taken a look at some of the homes for sale in the D.C. area that mention their proximity to Amazon’s new campus at National Landing in the Crystal City neighborhood.
This elegant 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo located near Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington was one of the most viewed listings on Redfin.com on May 12. It’s on the market for $879,900.
Located in Washington, D.C. close to the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress, this 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo is also just a quick drive over to Amazon HQ2. It’s listed for $585,000.
This 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom Alexandria home, on sale for $549,900, sits on a half acre and comes complete with a pool and hot tub. Plus, it sits just minutes from Amazon’s new campus.
This upgraded 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home in Alexandria boasts an easy commute to Amazon HQ2. It’s on the market for $625,000.