…and you still happily shop here.

One of life’s joys is the “I told you so,” because it is so often precluded by a period of scorn and disbelief. Last week I had a bumper crop, but let’s talk about Amazon’s HQ2.

You remember that? The corporate welfare pageant where municipalities fell over themselves, checkbooks flailing in the breeze, trying to lure Amazon to places its corporate relocation team had already picked? Yeah, that.

The Metroplex was one of those entries, and we even made it past the first culling before being sent home roseless, our taxpayer checkbook tucked firmly between our legs. New York may have kicked them out, but Amazon continues to hire there, albeit fewer than the 25,000 expected from their half of HQ2. Amazon wanted a presence in New York regardless of the freebies.

On the other hand, Virginia, happy to accept the Amazon bouquet, has seen home prices surge by 17 percent while property owners hoping for more, have caused new listings to crater – one zip code near HQ2 saw an 85.3 percent decrease in new listings. This has essentially frozen the market and caused property tax bills to swell.  Everyone’s expecting that once hiring picks up with HQ2, the lid will be blown off valuations. The same thing is playing out in the rental market especially in areas with the lowest rents as REITs and investors move in.

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Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (photo courtesy Flickr)

It started with 238 cities vying for one second headquarters for online retail giant Amazon, but if reports Monday night are correct, it’s now down to two cities that will split the headquarters — and neither city is Dallas.

Instead, the headquarters will be divided between Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia, the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday.

The $5 billion HQ2 will reportedly divide the projected 50,000 employees needed between two sites. Prognosticators with inside sources have reported for more than a week that Amazon would likely split the headquarters between the two cities. Crystal City is a suburb of Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City is in Queens, New York.

We’ll have more tomorrow, when the company is expected to officially announce its decision, including reaction from local leaders.

This morning, Bloomberg News is reporting that anonymous insiders are saying Amazon is close to finalizing its selection for its second headquarters (which are set to be officially announced by the end of the year). The winners of the pay-for-play beauty contest are reportedly Crystal City, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., and in the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island. Obviously, Amazon remains mum on the deal.

This latest news comes via three separate reports.  The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was splitting its “gift” in two. The New York Times who outed Long Island City as one of the “winners” while the Washington Post identified Crystal City. The splitting of this baby is seen as Amazon’s attempt to mitigate backlash from what many see as the problems Amazon will bring for a city’s existing residents – “a problem shared is a problem halved” and all that.

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Which cities are still in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters? Which cities were atop a list of most affordable places to relocate? Is Texas a job-creating, relocation friendly state?

We answer all this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

DALLAS IN LATE STAGE TALKS WITH AMAZON

Dallas is among three cities still in the running for Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters, according to a Wall Street Journal story.

Dallas is one of 20 cities of more than 200 that made pitches to the retail giant and then made it through to another round. The WSJ story said that Amazon was talking to New York; Crystal City, Virginia; and Dallas.

The story also revealed that insiders are saying that Crystal City is the odds-on favorite. However, speculation regarding Dallas has increased since the sale of the former Dallas Morning News headquarters. (more…)

Is Dallas likely to get Amazon’s HQ2?

Right when you think that we’ve talked it absolutely to death, the Wall Street Journal had to go and breathe life into the corpse of the Amazon HQ2 story. But wait! Do all of these fancy pie charts mean what we think they mean? Is Dallas proper about to get the crown after finding ourselves at first runner up too many times?

According to the numbers (I’m not great at math, so I’m going to trust them a bit here), the big draw for Big D is all business — available labor, low taxes, and relatively affordable cost of living (for now, at least). Big points for meeting Amazon half way with college population and cultural fit (Dallas County is blue, y’all). But when it comes to fiscal health, we got low marks.

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What would it take to get Amazon to locate it’s HQ2 here in Dallas? Jon Anderson says you don’t want to know, and we shouldn’t be so sure we want the e-retailer here anyway.

And according to new stats from ApartmentList, if Seattle’s fallout from HQ1 is any indication, Dallas and Austin renters should expect a bump in cost of living should Amazon HQ2 land in these major Texas metro areas.

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Amazon

(Photos courtesy Flickr)

As word got out that Amazon may pull out of its’ planned halfquarters in New York, every single city that had a shot is discussing the potential that the virtual big box store will eventually turn its sights to one of the jilted — Dallas included.

Let’s review: In November, after nearly a year of being courted by nearly every city in the country, Amazon flipped the script and decided to divide its second headquarters site between two cities – Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia.

But nearly immediately, many New Yorkers began voicing their resistance to the idea, saying they worried that Amazon would push up prices and rents in the neighborhood, and force existing residents out. They also criticized the incentives offered to the retail giant.

As resistance grew, The Washington Post reported Friday that Amazon was potentially thinking of walking back its plans for the New York site. (more…)

The Bow Tie Realtor will successfully predict tasty 2019 happenings in Tarrant County … buckle up

Before we look into the crystal ball for 2019, let’s take a quick look at the Bow Tie Realtor 2018 Tarrant County Predictions.

Prediction No. 1: Median Sales Price Will Rise

Correct Prediction — According to The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the median sales price in 2017 for Tarrant County was approximately $217,000.  The median sales price for Tarrant County in 2018 thus far shows to be $229,500.  (Note: Stats for December 2018 have not yet been published.)

Sales in the Tarrant County luxury home market were fewer and further between…but they still happened

Prediction No. 2: The Luxury Market Will Be Slower

Sort of Correct Prediction — Statistics show that the average days on market for luxury homes priced $750,000 and above were about the same from 2017 to 2018.  Ask any real estate agent in the with knowledge of that market and they’ll tell you sales definitely took longer.  It felt that homes took an eternity to sell and went through a number of price reductions.

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