Long Island City property sellers bumped up their asking prices after Amazon HQ2 deal, report finds

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With visions of a windfall dancing in their heads, Long Island City property sellers boosted their asking prices after Amazon announced that it would building part of its second headquarters in the neighborhood, according to a study released on Dec. 17.

Real estate network StreetEasy reported that in the five weeks since reports surfaced of the Amazon HQ2 deal, the owners of 18.8 percent of all homes listed for sale in Long Island City increased their asking prices. Just five sellers dropped their asking price during the listing period.

The trend marked an about-face in traditional real estate logic, in which sellers offer high and drop the price the longer a property is on the market. Moreover, the StreetEasy report found that not one Long Island City property listed for sale raised its asking price in the five weeks before the Amazon deal was announced.

A search of the StreetEasy real estate search engine shows a number of properties that increased their asking prices in recent weeks. For example, a one-bedroom condo inside One Hunters Point, located at 5-49 Borden Ave., is being offered for $995,000, up $45,000 (4.3 percent) from 28 days ago, according to StreetEasy. Another one-bedroom apartment located at 46-20 11th St. is being offered for $895,000, an increase of $55,000 (5.8 percent) from 28 days ago.

It’s said that real estate is all about “location, location, location,” and property owners and brokers also tweaked their listings to tell interested buyers that their properties are close to the Amazon HQ2 site near the Anable Basin. StreetEasy found that more than 75 homes for sale in 48 buildings touted in their listings their proximity to the Amazon campus.

Not all of these homes were in Long Island City, either; StreetEasy reported that many of them are located across the river in the Midtown East neighborhood of Manhattan.

“The trend of Manhattan listings touting their proximity to Queens illustrates just how upside down the New York City real estate market has become going into 2019,” according to a StreetEasy blog post about the report. “With Manhattan prices down 2.5 percent from the prior year as of October, and Queens prices up 5.4 percent, developers are pinning their hopes on Amazon.”

The Amazon deal, as reported, is expected to bring 25,000 jobs to Long Island City, with the first percentage of these jobs arriving in 2019 and working out of a temporary space in One Court Square (the former Citicorp Building). The average wage for these jobs, as the retail giant announced, would be about $150,000 a year.

Click here to read more about the LIC real estate market.

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