Seattle housing market cools as Amazon heads east

Tenants are being lured with free rent, while bidding wars have declined

Nov.November 23, 2018 08:45 AM
Bidding wars for property in Seattle appears to have declined during Amazon’s search for a new headquarters. (Credit: iStock)

In the wake of Amazon’s recent decision to split its second headquarters among two East Coast  locations, brokers and residential sellers in the e-commerce giant’s Seattle home are moving aggressively to lure tenants and buyers.

Landlords had already spent the last six months offering perks such as Amazon gift cards and free rent, as the company ramped up its marketing campaign and a nationwide search for HQ2, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bidding wars for property in Seattle appears to have declined during that time, the Journal reported. In addition, high interest rates and prices have led to the slowest median growth in the city since January 2013.

That stands in stark comparison to the last eight years, which has seen Seattle housing market prices increased close to 50 percent, as Amazon’s employee based there expanded to 45,000.

Meanwhile, as Amazon prepares to expand to New York City and Washington, D.C., so too may its prospective employees. Zillow reportedly found online listings searches in Queens’ Long Island City and Virginia’s Crystal City areas increased four times on the day of Amazon’s announcement.

Only half of the expected 25,000 jobs that Amazon would bring to Long Island City will be technology-related, the Journal reported. The other half will be administrative, human resources and custodial roles.

The company has already entered a letter of intent to lease approximately 1 million square feet of office space at Savanna’s One Court Square. And in Crystal City, the location will be transformed into something of a company town. Amazon has signed a 500,000 square feet lease at JBG Smith’s 241 18th Street, 1800 South Bell Street and 1770 Crystal Drive properties. Amazon will also purchase several development sites from JBG, totaling 4.1 million square feet of buildable space.  [WSJ]David Jeans 

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