New York City, Los Angeles, CA and Newark, NJ are the least likely cities to be chosen by Amazon to house their new HQ2.
Of the 20 finalists, Amazon is most likely to choose either Atlanta, GA or Northern Virginia, VA to host its new headquarters. That’s according to a panel of experts surveyed by the listing site Zillow and Pulsenomics.
Atlanta is the most likely destination, given that home values and rental prices are both “well below” the national average. Of the 20 finalist cities, Atlanta has the fourth lowest rents and home prices. Atlanta’s median home price is $187,600 and its median rent is $1,391, compared to $207,600 and $1,441 on the national level.
“Atlanta has the benefit of being one of the most affordable markets in the country, and is undergoing an urban renaissance with new public infrastructure providing attractive opportunities for employers seeking to lure young urbanites,” says Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas in the digital release.
Besides housing affordability, experts cited land availability, talent and business-friendly tax codes as additional reasons why they believe Amazon will choose Atlanta for HQ2.
Northern Virginia is among the more expensive housing markets on Amazon’s shortlist, but since it is part of the DC-metro area Amazon would be “at the doorstep of the nation’s top policy makers” — the primary reason the metro was chosen by experts.
Northern Virginia’s median home value is $387,200, with rents totaling $2,141 per month.
Hosting Amazon will not only create thousands of potentially high-paying jobs for the chosen city, but also has the potential to transform the regional economy — as witnessed in Seattle, WA, where HQ1 is located.
This, in turn, will directly fuel the chosen city’s housing market, as thousands of new Amazon employees search for housing.
“The local jobs boom that Amazon’s HQ2 promises will spur demand for the full spectrum of housing types – ranging from urban apartments to suburban single-family homes,” says Terrazas.
And while the prospect of hosting Amazon’s HQ2 is tantalizing from an economic standpoint alone, there are potential down-sides as well.
“These cities should be prepared not only to justify their financial inducements, but to carefully weigh the social risks and costs that could accompany their HQ2 commitment, such as diminished affordable housing stock, more congested roadways, and greater income inequality, vary considerably across the 20 markets,” saysTerry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, in the digital release.
Of the cities that made Amazon’s shortlist, Los Angeles had the most expensive median home price ($636,000) and rent ($2,738). Median home values and rents were also high in New York City and Newark — $431,100 and $2,403, respectively.
Amazon will annouce the winner “sometime in 2018.”
Click here to read the entire release.