Amazon made a big announcement this week, officially stating they New York City would be one of two locations for their HQ2, naming Long Island City as the location. When headlines broke, everyone in the real estate industry began thinking – how will this impact NYC real estate, particularly Long Island City?
The arrival of Amazon will continue the development of Long Island City and should encourage the city to invest dollars into infrastructure such as the subway system which is in dire need and buses. With the arrival of the new Amazon headquarters comes and anticipated 25,000 new, high earning employees.
Prices Likely to Rise
Long Island City has had a housing development boom in recent years with the neighborhood continually becoming more residential and less industrial. We continue to expect new units to come to market in the neighborhood in the near term. Prices have been on the up, and in fact, LIC is the priciest neighborhood within Queens.
Amazon’s announcement means there will be inherent increased interest in the neighborhood which could push prices slightly higher rather quickly, especially in terms of rent demand. It is important to note that rents in LIC luxury brands somewhat mirror that of Manhattan rents, so prices may not skyrocket in the short term, however, increased demand may motivate landlords to remove concessions that are being found on many luxury rentals. There has been an absorption issue in Long Island City given the sheer amount of inventory that has come on the market in the neighborhood in recent years.
Impact Not Confined to Long Island City
Anticipate price impacts to be felt in other neighborhoods as well. The influx of employees may look to other neighborhoods that still allow for easy access to LIC such as Midtown East and the Upper East Side where they may find more bang for their buck.
Being priced out of the market is still a very large issue for the NYC housing market as wages cannot keep up with cost of living for many. Because of that, we expect that the largest increase in pricing may be seen in peripheral neighborhoods that are still up and coming such as Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A new influx of residents in neighborhoods such as this could push pricing higher.
More Players than Just Amazon
While Amazon is garnering much press and attention about the location of their second US headquarters, it is important to remember that there are other plays that can contribute to this as well. Google has stated they expect to nearly double their workforce in coming years. The arrival of Amazon could further establish New York as a tech center and attract everything from Amazon competitors to start ups. What does that mean? The influx of people as a result of high paying jobs could be greater than what will be from Amazon on its own.