From June 2018 to June 2019, the median asking price for a single-family home in ZIP code 22202, home to Amazon’s planned Northern Virginia headquarters, skyrocketed a whopping 99.9 percent—essentially doubling over that period—according to a new report from listings service Bright MLS. Last month, that price was $1,599,000, reflecting a premium in the area immediately around the “HQ2” site—dubbed “National Landing” by developers and officials.
“These higher prices could be the result of homeowners looking to benefit from the prospects of future appreciation in the area,” Chris Finnegan, a vice president at Bright MLS, notes in a statement. Amazon announced in November that it would locate its new headquarters, set to produce at least 25,000 jobs over roughly the next decade, in Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Alexandria. Some analysts and residents expressed concerns that housing prices would jump.
They have jumped, significantly, Bright MLS’s report shows. “Median list prices for single family homes went from $780,000 (-15.2 percent [year-over-year]) in November 2018 to $1,369,900 (+56.6 percent [year-over-year]) in December 2018,” says a release from the Rockville, Maryland-based company. That was an increase of 75.5 percent in one month.
“Speculation is fueling a dramatic increase in new listing prices for those who do decide to put their homes on the market now,” Bright MLS points out. Many homeowners in ZIP code 22202, however, appear to be holding onto their properties for now: The number of active listings there declined to five in November 2018 from 34 in October 2018, and remained in the single digits until March 2019. Bright MLS says this was “an extreme and sustained drop in available inventory,” and that June 2019 inventory was down 70.2 percent year-over-year.
The number of new pending sales in the ZIP code also decreased after the headquarters announcement, falling to the single digits in December, January, and February from 31 in November, when it spiked. That initial uptick was “possibly influenced by the intense local and national media coverage of the selection process and in anticipation of the impending announcement,” says the release. Pending sales currently seem to be an upward trajectory.
This isn’t the first report to indicate a major increase in Arlington home prices following the revelation of Amazon’s decision. In May, Realtor.com found that the median list price for a home in Arlington County had grown 17 percent—to $750,000—since last November. That month, Redfin found a similar rise in the median sales price for a home there, to $655,000.