Will Amazon’s HQ2 Trigger a Housing Market Frenzy?

Speculation is rampant. Here's what the numbers show so far.

“I’d hate to see people making decisions so arbitrarily,” he says. “Put Amazon in the back of your mind and feel a little more secure that there is a more robust economy underpinning your biggest investment. Sell when it fits your life.”

Paige Patterson is a 26-year-old real estate agent with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Alexandria. After hearing the Amazon buzz for months, she purchased her first home—a boxy Colonial in Arlington’s Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood—for $736,000. She ratified the contract in late 2018, two weeks before Amazon’s official announcement.

“Being in the industry, I know how the market will shift at even the thought of something big like that,” Patterson says. “I thought I’d better pull the trigger now, jump the gun earlier rather than later. I wanted to get in before I was priced out of a market where I wanted to live.”

Since then, Patterson says she has seen area real estate climb in value. She recently listed an Arlington Ridge home for $859,900, which received three offers within a week and sold for $907,000. Arlington Ridge is just up the hill from National Landing. Was the Amazon effect responsible for the quick, above-ask sale?

“It’s hard to say,” Patterson says. “The fact that we live near Washington, D.C., coupled with Amazon, makes investors and buyers realize this area is a safe investment, that the market isn’t going to tank like it has in other places in the country.”

Still, she expects to see “a lot of rental development” in the future, and, perhaps, some uncontrollable factors like a nationwide recession or, God forbid, a war, which could cancel out the Amazon spur.

“You never know what can happen in the real estate market,” she says. “It’s hard to say if the Amazon effect is hype or reality. Both could end up true.”

Lisa Kaplan Gordon is a former real estate developer (just her luck) and current freelance writer living in McLean.

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