These are the top 2 contenders for Amazon’s HQ2, according to economists and housing experts

Looking east across The Gulch from Centennial Olympic Park Drive in Atlanta, Georgia. Wikipedia Commons
  • The real-estate listing company Zillow surveyed dozens of housing experts and economists on what city they believe could land Amazon HQ2, the company’s $US5 billion headquarters.
  • Atlanta, Georgia and Northern Virginia are their top picks.
  • The survey’s conclusions are similar to other HQ2 analyses, many of which have also pointed toward the Washington, DC area and Atlanta as top contenders.

Since the latter part of 2017, cities across North America have had a $US5 billion question on their minds: Where will Amazon choose for its second headquarters?

In September, the tech giant announced that it will build the new campus, called HQ2, in a North American city. The $US5 billion headquarters is expected to bring 50,000 jobs over the next two decades, making it the most coveted corporate-civic giveaways in recent history. Earlier this year, Amazon announced the top 20 contenders.

A new survey from Zillow guesses which cities are most likely to win HQ2. The real-estate listing company asked more than 100 housing experts and economists their opinions about the probability of Amazon picking each of the HQ2 finalists.

Most said Northern Virginia and Atlanta are highly likely, while Los Angeles, the New York City area, and Miami are considered long shots.

Atlanta has ample space for Amazon to grow, a business-friendly regulatory climate, and very low housing costs – which could all be big selling points for the company. Northern Virginia is close to policymakers in DC and has an emerging tech industry.

Zillow’s conclusions mirror those made by previous HQ2 analyses.

In a recent study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, analysts pointed toward Atlanta; Boston; Denver; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Washington, DC. In February, Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University’s business school, predicted that New York City; Newark, New Jersey; Washington, DC; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Northern Virginia are top contenders.

Amazon representatives reportedly toured several sites in the Washington, DC area last week, according to The Washington Post. During the trip, they met with the governor of Virginia and the mayor of Washington, DC.

As Amazon continues to grow in Seattle, Washington, the city has seen skyrocketing housing prices, increased gridlock, closures of independent businesses, and unrelenting construction – a reality that many urban planning experts say could be an omen for the HQ2 city.