The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Why it’s next to impossible to buy a house near Amazon’s HQ2 site in Arlington, Va.

For-sale houses in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood are scarce. In June, year-over-year listings for single-family homes in the 22202 Zip code fell 70.2 percent, according to Bright MLS. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

New data from the Washington region’s multiple-listing service show the dramatic impact the impending Amazon HQ2 site in Arlington, Va., is having on the housing market: The price of single-family houses near the headquarters area has doubled, while sales spiked and inventory plummeted.

Data from Bright MLS focuses on Arlington’s 22202 Zip code — the area that includes Crystal City, which is being renamed National Landing.

Intense speculation and media coverage of the potential location of Amazon in National Landing created a buying frenzy just before the Nov. 13 announcement. Though the numbers are small, the 31 new pending sales in the 22202 Zip code in November represented a 121.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Buyers snapped up properties and would-be sellers held back listing their homes in favor of greater future profits. Year-over-year new pending sales were flat in December before dropping steeply by 63.2 percent in January and by 50 percent in February.

Will Amazon’s effect on Northern Virginia housing be as feared — or hoped for?

The lack of new pending sales can be tied to the quick decrease in homes for sale, probably because homeowners wanted to wait for the official opening of HQ2, according to Chris Finnegan, vice president of marketing and communications for Bright MLS.

Inventory dropped 85.3 percent from October to November and has yet to come back. In June, year-over-year listings in the National Landing Zip code fell 70.2 percent.

The few homeowners who have opted to sell are pricing their properties at premium levels — assuming that their buyers anticipate even more appreciation, according to Finnegan.

How high are prices? The median list price for a single-family home in the 22202 Zip code was $1.599 million in June, a 99.9 percent year-over-year increase.

That spike in listing prices was evident immediately after the Amazon HQ2 announcement, with the median list price jumping from $780,000 for a single-family home in that Zip code in November to $1.37 million in December — a 75.5 percent increase.

Development plans for the area so far primarily include apartments and some condos rather than single-family homes, another factor in the price spike there.