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Amazon Sparked Boom in Long Island City Condo Sales

Long Island City, Queens

Amazon Condo Boom

Long Island City may have seen the shortest real estate boom in history.

In a city known for its boom-and-bust real estate cycles, this one may go down as the shortest of the short booms. It lasted about three months. New data shows that Amazon’s announcement that it was going to bring a second headquarters to Long Island City, Queens, triggered a gold rush of condo buying in the neighborhood, according to listing information portal Online Residential

The online retail giant spurred a prime rush for real estate there in the three months between its headquarters announcement and its shocking departure due to political opposition. The New York Post reports that in the two months between Sept. 13 and Nov. 12, the day Amazon formally announced its plans for HQ2, Long Island City and neighboring Astoria had a total of 79 contracts signed. Then, between Nov. 13 and Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, when Amazon broke a lot of hearts by unexpectedly backing out of its Queens plans, the number of signed contracts soared, nearly doubling to 157. 

Along with the contracts came a big spike in their dollar value. Online Residential’s data shows that during the September-to-November period, the dollar value of homes in contract added up to $76.53 million. From November to mid-February, the total was $160.74 million – a 110 percent jump

Several area buildings in particular were big beneficiaries of Amazon’s November announcement, according to Online Residential. The 85-unit Corte condo at 21-30 44th Drive saw 39 contracts signed in the Nov. 13 to Feb. 13 period. Another was the Bond, a 42-unit condo at 46-20 11th St., which had 14 signed contracts during that time. 

Now comes the interesting part. With Amazon no longer coming to town, it’s possible for people with signed contracts to back out of the deals before closing without paying too many penalties. Will they bolt? And what effect will Amazon’s reversal have on neighborhood real estate prices more broadly? It’s still too early to tell, but stay tuned. We might soon be reporting on the city’s latest real estate bust.

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