In the January 2018 Home Value Forecast, we predicted northern Virginia would be the likely winner in the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes. In November 2018 we found out we were half right, as Amazon decided to split HQ2, with new campuses in Arlington, VA and Queens, NY.
In February 2019, we’ve become 100% right again.
This month came word that Amazon is pulling out of New York, as local residents and politicians became critical of the impact on the area and the tax breaks needed to attract them. Amazon had sought and received approval from the Governor and Mayor but had done little to appease concerns at the local level.
On the day Amazon announced its withdrawal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York commented on Twitter, “Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation and the power of the richest man in the world.”
Among the opposition’s fears was that Amazon would change the fabric of the neighborhood – a fear that’s coming true no matter if Amazon is there or not.
Three years ago Home Value Forecast wrote about the impact of economic displacement in the San Francisco Bay area. What is happening in New York, Boston, Nashville and many other cities is following a similar pattern.
In commenting about San Francisco housing, the Urban Displacement Project published by UC Berkley stated that: “Gentrification, or the influx of capital and higher-income, higher-educated residents into working-class neighborhoods, has already transformed about 10% of Bay Area neighborhoods. Displacement, which occurs when housing or neighborhood conditions actually force moves, is occurring in 48% of Bay Area neighborhoods, divided almost evenly between low-income and moderate/high-income neighborhoods.”
Prices in Queens are already rising faster than the state and CBSA average, showing that the transformation of this neighborhood is well underway:
In Long Island City, both single-family homes and condos are averaging over $1 million sale prices – not within the reach of “everyday” New Yorkers. This up and coming area will be attracting other tech companies, and these upward trends will continue.
Even without Amazon, Google and other tech companies are still expanding in New York. Change is still coming, it will be interesting to see how New York City evolves while retaining its identity.
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