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DC Expected to Gain 3,550 Households from Amazon Employees

by Nena Perry-Brown

While the speculation over the destination for Amazon's second headquarters has ended, speculation continues over how the new campus in Northern Virginia's "National Landing" area will affect the region's housing market.

A new report from the Stephen S. Fuller Institute attempts to add context and apply numbers to what the impact could look like.

The conclusions of the report are based on the previous assumption of a 50,000-employee campus (although the county is preparing itself for up to 37,580 jobs across two phases); however, the report still provides interesting perspective to the debate over how much the new campus will impact the local housing market.

Percent of new Amazon employee households expected to settle in each jurisdiction. Click to enlarge.

As seen above, the influx of Amazon employees, and those whose employment is tangentially related to the arrival of the company, are expected to settle throughout various jurisdictions in the area. Assuming there will be 25,000 employees with an average wage of $150,000, DC proper is expected to gain 3,552 households related to the arrival of the campus.

On the homeownership side, most new Amazon employees will be able to afford new construction, so each jurisdiction's ability to accommodate an influx of new households will directly be determined by their abilities to facilitate construction of additional housing. Considering the existing homebuying market, the impact may be much smaller than many expect. 

"Most jurisdictions typically have more turn-over in existing homes in a single year than HQ2 would generate during the 20-year build-out," the report states. "While HQ2 would certainly increase the demand for ownership housing, especially in the long-term, the increase would be relatively small compared to the typical demand for housing in these jurisdictions."

The DC area had the highest rents of any finalist in the HQ2 race, but has also had comparably slow rent growth. With that in mind, rental housing should fare better as far as maintaining some affordability, if the region continues to build apartments at a strong pace.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-expected-to-gain-3550-households-from-amazon-employees/14695

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