Atlanta, Northern Va. most likely for Amazon HQ2, housing economists say

Experts liked Atlanta and Northern Virginia based on housing affordability, tax environment, land availability.

Looking to make Amazon’s HQ2 short list even shorter? Atlanta and Northern Virginia could be top contenders, according to a Zillow survey released Thursday.

The survey asked more than 100 housing economists and professors to rank their housing market expectations and which cities they though Amazon might choose for their second headquarters. Experts looked at factors such as housing costs, traffic, and tax environment.

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Related: Talent, not incentives, most important in HQ2 search, experts say

Of the 85 experts who responded, 12 selected Atlanta, 12 picked Northern Virginia, 11 chose Austin, and nine selected Raleigh as the most likely contender for HQ2.

Experts pegged Atlanta for its land availability and business friendly tax codes. Median home and rent values in Atlanta ($187,600 median home value and $1,391 median rent payment) are also below the national average, making it an attractive city for buyers.

A growing tech workforce and proximity to lawmakers in Washington D.C. made Northern Virginia a promising option, according to the experts.

Miami, New York, Newark, and Los Angeles could be least likely to be chosen, due to high housing costs and an unfavorable tax environment, according to the survey.

Related: Why would Amazon want to build HQ2 outside Seattle?

Amazon announced the search for a second headquarters last fall. After receiving 238 bids, the tech giant narrowed its list of potential HQ2 locations to 20 in January.

Here’s the full list of cities on Amazon’s HQ2 short list, ranked by favorability in the Zillow survey:

1. Atlanta

1. Northern Virginia

2. Austin

3. Denver

3. Montgomery County, Md.

4. Dallas

5. Nashville

5. Pittsburgh

6. Chicago

6. Philadelphia

7. Boston

7. Washington D.C.

8. Toronto

9. Columbus

10. Indianapolis

11. Miami

11. New York

11. Newark

12. Los Angeles