- Internet rental listing service RENTCafé has compiled data to determine how the rental housing markets in Long Island City, NY and Crystal City, VA will be impacted by Amazon's HQ2 announcement.
- Since November 2017, the average monthly rent for apartments in Crystal City has increased by 5% to $2,387, while the average monthly rent for apartments in Long Island City has increased by 5.1% to $3,458.
- RENTCafé estimates Long Island City and its surrounding region of Queens are anticipating the development of 15,400 and 33,900 apartments in the coming years, respectively, while Crystal City and its surrounding region of Arlington are anticipating the development of 3,100 and 14,700 apartments in the coming years, respectively.
While it's still too early to tell the exact impact that Amazon's headquarters will have on its winning cities — especially since the company decided to evenly split the offer, which will push 25,000 new jobs onto each city instead of the original 50,000 — it is fair to assume housing demand will skyrocket in each location. Seattle, the home of Amazon's first headquarters, saw home prices increase 73% and rents increase 31% over the last five years, according to Zillow. And while this impact is likely greater than it will be in the new locations, it's a clear illustration of the "Amazon effect."
Renters are likely to have the most difficult time finding affordable housing, especially due to the high occupancy rates currently seen in each city — however, some city officials remain optimistic.
"Amazon in Arlington is a win for DC ... And we call on elected leaders in the region to come together and agree to a concrete goal for affordable and workforce housing," Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.
This optimism is not widely felt, especially among city residents and the advocacy organizations that represent them. Currently on Twitter, the hashtag #StopAmazonQNS is trending, with many area residents and workers sharing concerns they will get pushed out of their homes and neighborhoods due to rising rents. NY Working Families Party State Director Bill Lipton echoed similar sentiments, saying Long Island City shouldn't "join that race to the bottom."
"Amazon has disrupted the communities in which it locates, spiking housing prices and driving up homelessness, and then used all its political clout to make sure it's working families who foot the bill," he said in a statement. "If Amazon is going to drive up rent, then then it needs to help shoulder costs of affordable housing programs."