HQ2? Trulia says Crystal City real estate searches surged 700 percent

WASHINGTON — Amazon hasn’t even begun construction of its HQ2 operations in Northern Virginia, or started bringing those jobs there, but it appears tech workers in other cities are already scoping out the region.

Residential real estate listing site Trulia says home searches from major tech hubs like Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Seattle into Crystal City-area neighborhoods spiked more than 700 percent in the week after news broke of Amazon’s plans.

But the interest was certainly almost entirely based on exploratory curiosity.

“Because those spikes came at times when there was a big announcement and it was so large, I think people were curious about what is Crystal City, what are these neighborhoods like,” Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, told WTOP.

“I think it was especially people who might be looking for a transfer from these major tech hubs,” she said.

Neighborhoods that saw a big jump in searches included Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge, Potomac Yard and Potomac West.

Combined, Trulia says those neighborhoods saw 3.7 times more inbound search activity from tech hubs on Nov. 3, when The Washington Post announced the probable location for Amazon HQ2, than the previous week.

And savvy would-be sellers are already starting to spice up their listings.

“The listings are really trying to use Amazon’s new headquarters as a selling point. They are saying how far and how accessible Amazon HQ2 is — a few stops on the Metro, a few miles away. Some of them are also denote a sense of urgency, a sort of ‘Amazon is coming, act fast,'” Young said.

“National Landing,” the neighborhood name completely made up to represent Amazon’s HQ2 footprint in Crystal City and Alexandria, showed up for the first time in at least two dozen real estate listings in December.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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