Amazon's NYC vacancy could blunt real estate spike

Amazon’s decision to abandon plans to build a new headquarters in New York City could undermine a recent boom to the area’s real estate market.

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Announced by the e-commerce giant on Thursday, the decision to pull-back from the project to construct a new facility in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens could lead some individuals who placed down payments on properties to try to get their money back. It could also reduce the incentive for banks to offer attractive loan offers to developers or possible home buyers – which experts say were more abundant following Amazon’s November decision – and force property owners to restart promotional offers they may have halted amid the rush of attention the area received in recent months.

“It’s a sad day for New York,” real estate agent Dolly Lenz told FOX Business.

Nearly 19 percent of home listings in Long Island City increased in price on Nov. 5, shortly before the company announced its plan but amid press reports that suggested New York was the choice, according to real estate site StreetEasy.

Prior to the decision, available homes in the neighborhood were up 62 percent year-over-year and 13 percent of sellers reduced their list price, suggesting the market was on a downturn.

Still, Amazon’s investment in the area was a decades-long commitment and experts say the market will stabilize from any immediate impact from the decision to back out.

“The effect of Amazon certainly created a tremendous amount of urgency that New York City lacked for a while,” said Rick Rosa, managing partner of the Rosa Pereira team at Douglas Elliman. “Now, it will just go back to the normal pace that it was going.”

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Among the other sectors that could be immediately impacted by the announcement are small business owners, who were planning for the influx of residents that Amazon’s arrival was expected to bring, according to Rosa.

“What do we gain from all this experience? We are now put on a world stage, we got the exposure that we never had before and that’s something that we need to go ahead and take with us,” he said.


And New York’s loss of Amazon could be a gain for some in the region, particularly for property owners and sellers on the west side of Manhattan who may have lost attention from buyers and renters who wanted to be closer to the e-commerce giant’s new development.