Boeing is Helping Arlington Become a Tech Hub
Amazon’s announcement to locate its second headquarters to Arlington back in 2018, created a new vision for local officials to capitalize on this momentum and build a new tech hub in Viriginia. This vision was a big picture idea to transform Northern Virginia into an urban technology hub.
Virginia’s Goal to Become Tech Hub is Coming True
Now, three years later, this vision is coming to fruition with Boeing’s announcement of moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington.
A neighborhood once known for housing the Pentagon and government employees, is quickly shifting to an institute of innovation. This is all part of Virginia’s development strategy, that’s focused on growing the state’s appeal for tech companies by adding depth to its tech workforce. In 2019, the state expanded its IT employment by more than 9,000 jobs, and in 2021, Virginia’s data centers supported 45,000 jobs.
Virginia’s population is currently 8.6 million people, increasing by over 380,000 new residents since 2010. There’s a clear push for growth, and with the addition of Amazon and now Boeing’s workforce, real estate agents in Old Dominion should be prepared to meet this wave of demand for housing.
Virginian officials are excited about the recent announcement, as it signals the success of their development strategy, as well as the opportunity for more companies to move to the area.
Boeing has committed to building a research and technology hub to focus on cybersecurity, quantum sciences/ computing, and other high-tech fields.
“If you put that [Boeing] on top of the Amazon HQ2 announcement and the presence of other significant tech sector employers, it casts the message that this place is great for tech businesses,” said Terry Clower, a public policy professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and the director of its Center for Regional Analysis.
Big Tech Moves Impact Local Housing Market
However, big tech moves like this also signal potential strains when it comes to the housing market. Like we’ve seen out west in Seattle, San Francisco, and LA, with big tech comes big housing prices.
Home price appreciation is great for current homeowners, but bad for homebuyers and renters. The “Amazon Effect” can be felt in the cities stated above, particularly in Seattle where the average price of a new home increased 83.4% between 2010 - 2017
In Arlington, high home prices have already plagued residents in this high-earning county. Neighboring counties have also felt this impact, even more so. With Arlington’s already high home prices, new residents look to more affordable counties that are easy to commute from.
“We have to be very intentional about the people who will benefit from this growth,” said Amy Liu, vice president at the Brookings Institute and director of its Metropolitan Policy Program. “Otherwise, we are going to further widen inequities in this region.”
And she’s right, the median sale price of homes in Arlington is $636,000, down 0.54% from a record high of $725,000 in May 2021.
Concurrent with high home prices, is low housing supply. Arlington is currently suffering from low housing supply, with just 344 active listing in May 2022.
If local officials want to continue with their current development strategy, housing needs to be a top priority. Tech employees looking to escape the high costs of the west coast won’t find relief in Northern Virginia right now.
The CE Shop readers: If you operate in the DMV market, have you felt the “Amazon Effect”? What are your thoughts about Boeing’s announcement to move their HQ to Arlington?