Amazon’s HQ2 May Spell Trouble for Your Rent

Sometime soon, Amazon will conclude its search for a new second headquarters and one American city will prepare for up to 50,000 new high-paying tech jobs. But Seattleites have long been warning about the coming "prosperity bomb" the so-called HQ2 could bring, and now we've got a number for how much rents could go up for the winning bidder.

Housing website Apartment List published data last week showing that some metro areas could see spikes of up to $200 per month if the city lands the Amazon deal. Over 10 years, those increases can add up to five-figure sums. In Denver, the New York Times favorite frontrunner, rents already rose by more than 50 percent between 2005 and 2015. Apartment List projects that Amazon-driven growth could cost renters almost $11,500 over the next decade.

The biggest changes could come to Raleigh, North Carolina; San Jose, California; Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. Amazon's presence alone could bump up rents by an additional 1 percent annually. The housing markets in these cities are already sluggish, growing much more slowly compared to job growth. Not only will HQ2 need living space for its 50,000 tech employees, so will the 62,500 supplementary and support workers expected to join the company over a 10-year period.

Some metro areas are taking a look at the stats and deciding they prefer their status quo. Whether it's about keeping a city manageable, admitting they can't accommodate the infrastructure, or simply maintaining local character, places like Little Rock, Arkansas, are wishing Amazon the best, somewhere far away.