Even before the official announcement today that Amazon will open one of its two new headquarters in Long Island City, the neighborhood saw a major spike in home searches, according to StreetEasy. The spike first occurred after the initial, unconfirmed announcement last week, that was reported on by multiple news outlets.
During the week of November 5-10 (Sunday was excluded), StreetEasy saw a 295 percent increase for buyer searches from the prior week. The search volume was also up exponentially from the same time last year—306 percent. There was even a massive uptick in the immediate days following the initial announcement: search for Long Island City listings increased 408 percent between November 5-7, compared to November 2-4.
Grant Long, a senior economist at StreetEasy, had this to say about the development:
Amazon’s move to Queens has the potential to produce a giant eastward shift in the economic geography of the city. With the sales market slowing elsewhere in the city, investors are moving quickly to place bets on Amazon reshaping western Queens. Anyone who might have already been considering a move to Long Island City is no doubt under more pressure to get in now, ahead of the rise in prices likely to come with the sharp rise in interest from those looking to make a quick buck. The developers who have been building in the area over the course of the past 15 years are likely to reap the biggest windfalls from the Amazon announcement, following a long period of doubts about the city’s ability to absorb the large number of homes that have come onto the market since the area’s redevelopment began in the early 2000’s.
Redfin saw online views of homes for sale skyrocket 794 percent in the first 11 days of November compared to the same time last year.
And it’s not just restricted to online searches. Brokers representing listings in the neighborhood have been fielding dozens of buyers since the announcement last week, according to the Wall Street Journal. Even apartments that have lingered on the market for weeks have suddenly witnessed interested buyers, and brokers are working hard to score deals as the interest continues to grow.
Daniel Hale, the chief economist at realtor.com, said Amazon’s impact would be felt more so in Long Island City and the neighboring area than New York City overall. He pointed to the fact the NYC metro area had added 110,000 jobs in the last year, which is four times the number of jobs Amazon will bring to the city. Hale predicts an increase in median sales and rent prices in the neighborhood in the coming months, and also predicts an increase in the luxury housing market in Queens.