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Real estate in brief: Amazon HQ2 impact on housing, Zillow announces new leadership and more

by Morgan Mereday

Amazon announced that Long Island, New York and Washington D.C., Virginia will be the new locations of its second headquarters, ending the year-long public contest. The company’s raffle attracted 238 candidates only to end in a surprise twist: the division of Amazon’s HQ2 between two winners.

Extending from its home base in Seattle, Amazon chose the nation’s most financial and political capitals for its expansion. With a total  investment of $5.5 billion evenly split between the two cities, Amazon plans to create over 25,000 jobs for residents in both greater metropolitan areas. These new headquarters will likely affect a tremendous effect on the local housing markets.

“We’re talking about the single biggest economic development deal in the history of New York City,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio while discussing the Amazon deal Monday, before being announced a winner.

In other real estate news:

  • Leading figures and groups of the housing industry joined forces to sign a letter calling for the Senate’s confirmation of Kathy Kraninger as the next Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director. Kraninger was nominated earlier this year, passed out of the of the Senate Banking Committee in August, and is now available to face confirmation by vote from the Senate. The letter was signed by top industry groups such as the National Association of Realtors, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Multifamily Housing Council.
  • Baby Boomers are rounding the corner to retirement with greater debt and less savings, according to a study conducted by the Stanford Center on Longevity. The report evaluated the current and future outlook of homeownership and retirement, finding that Baby Boomers are financially weaker when compared to previous generations, in regard to home equity accumulation and total wealth.
  • The Zillow announced the addition of Allen Parker to the company as the new Chief Financial Officer. In his new position, Parker will work under Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff and will be responsible for the finance, treasury, accounting, M&A, legal, and investor relations functions of Zillow Group.
  • The number of properties in the U.S. that are equity rich has reached a record high of 14.5 million. ATTOM Data Solutions’ third quarter 2018 report found that with the 14.5 million equity rich properties representing 25.7 percent of all the nation’s properties, the numbers are higher than any recorded throughout the entire history of the database, dating back to 2013.

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