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.