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‘Amazon effect’ could push Atlanta home-price spikes to nation’s fourth highest in ’19

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Experts: Even for “HQ2 rejects,” considerable home-cost increases are coming, thanks in part to Amazon hoopla

A photo of the unsightly Gulch area in downtown Atlanta.
Downtown’s Gulch was rumored to be one of the possible picks for the e-commerce giant’s next HQ.
Curbed Atlanta

Although the race for Amazon’s HQ2 may be in the rearview, it appears that just being in the fight for the e-commerce behemoth could still impact major cities.

According to a report by Zillow, many cities will see home prices spike in the next year, thanks in part to what Forbes calls the “Amazon effect.” Zillow asked 100 investment experts and real estate economists to pick three markets they’d bet will exceed the national price-hike average in 2019, and most were HQ2 finalists.

Almost all HQ2 finalists—even the “HQ2 rejects,” as Forbes calls them—will see considerable price gains, per the experts.

Amazon announced last month it would be splitting its new headquarters between Long Island City, New York and Arlington, Virginia.

But in Atlanta, which was one of the top contenders for Amazon’s second headquarters, home prices are still estimated to jump by more than 13 percent in 2019, according to the report.

That’s a higher estimated increase than some of the other major candidates, such as Denver, Washington D.C. (i.e., not Virginia), and Dallas, which are projected to see 6.2, 3.5, and 10.9 percent increases, respectively.

The national average uptick, according to the real estate economists and investment experts, is anticipated to be 3.8 percent.

A senior economist at Zillow, Aaron Terrazas, told Forbes that many of the expected home-price hikes stem from “spillover” from competing cities’ campaigns to woo HQ2. That includes the many proposed infrastructure and tax changes that emerged during those efforts—the bait set to lure tech jobs from higher-cost places like Seattle.

Like economists and other pundits around the country, many Atlantans suspected downtown was primed to claim Amazon’s second headquarters. And the prevailing wisdom was that those promised 50,000 new jobs would be headed to the barren Gulch, should Bezos and co. choose the Big Peach.

For better or worse, and for reasons that appear at least partly political, that was not to be.