- Amazon employees are already buying apartments in New York City, local brokers told The Wall Street Journal.
- In the week since Amazon announced plans to open headquarters in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens, New York, brokers say they’ve seen a spike in interest from employees at the e-commerce giant.
- Interest in Long Island City real estate is skyrocketing more generally, sparking concerns that rents are going to increase.
Amazon employees are apparently eager to get a head start on the New York City real estate game.
Condo sales in Long Island City are soaring following the announcement that the Queens, New York, neighborhood will host part of Amazon’s HQ2, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to The Journal, one brokerage firm sold 150 units in four days last week — 15 times its usual volume — after Amazon announced plans to open a headquarters in Long Island City.
Amazon employees are among the buyers, brokers told The Journal. And that includes employees who started shopping before Amazon’s official announcement last Tuesday.
“My cellphone rang, and the area code was Seattle,” Patrick W. Smith, a Long Island City-based broker, told The Journal. According to Smith, five Amazon employees had already reached out to him.
The Journal previously reported that searches for Long Island City on the real-estate listing site StreetEasy surged 295% the week Amazon announced plans to open HQ2 in the neighborhood. The biggest spike occurred in the first few days after the news broke, with search volume jumping more than 400%.
The sudden interest in Long Island City has sparked fears among New Yorkers regarding the potential for rent hikes.
Seattle — home to Amazon’s current headquarters — has seen rents skyrocket in recent years, something that many have attributed to the e-commerce company. In 2017, rents in downtown Seattle reached an average of $42.08 per square foot, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE. That’s a significant increase from even 2015, when rents averaged $39.79, and $31.38 in 2009.
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