Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist, Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, recently sat down to answer questions about the impact of Amazon’s second headquarters coming to Northern Virginia for an episode of the REAL Politics podcast.
The second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2”, is certainly a big deal for Northern Virginia; however, a recent study out of George Mason University shows the impact of HQ2 may be less dramatic than many are anticipating.
Dr. Sturtevant revealed that Amazon expects to create around 38,000 jobs over the next 16 years at HQ2. This means there will be about 2,400 new jobs per year. So, what do these numbers actually mean for the housing market?
“The magnitude of this new demand is actually a bit smaller than people think,” she says. “So, it’s 2,400 new people every year. The DC region adds between 45 and 55-thousand jobs every single year. 2,400 within any given year is within the fluctuation we see. It’s not a ‘big’ impact on an economy that’s so big.”
Additionally, some of these Amazon workers are already living in the region.
George Mason University’s research suggests that Amazon HQ2 will result in an increase of demand of homeownership regionally by just between one and five-percent.
Another frequently-asked question is which neighborhoods or price points will be more in-demand for the new Amazon workers. Dr. Sturtevant says that some specific neighborhoods could see a significant impact.
“Given Amazon HQ2’s location in Arlington and on the border of the City of Alexandria, I think there’s reason to think that neighborhoods in both of those jurisdictions will be in demand from new Amazon HQ2 workers.”
There are a couple of reasons why this is the case: People want to live close to where they work, and both of these communities have very good and improving public schools. These are also neighborhoods where inventory is already somewhat limited and where significant new construction isn’t likely due to the lack of land.
Interested in hearing the rest of this interview (including the burning question of whether or not sellers should ask for more money because of HQ2)? Click here for this episode of REAL Politics: Where politics meets Virginia real estate.