Why is Atlanta the clear and easy choice for Amazon HQ2 to be located?
I can give all of the reasons now including sleeper reasons like Amazon Studios and the booming Georgia film and TV industry or the Atlanta diversity, many top corporate home offices for which to hire execs from, or even great local University and college talent from places like Georgia Tech, Emory, UGA, Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, Georgia State, Kennesaw State.
But, Home Prices!
If you want developers, you want talent, you want to create jobs, you need a place that either has talent and can recruit talent. Do they want to move to the area, can that afford it? People are moving to Atlanta monthly, it is a great place to live. Zeroheadge has a great article that shows home prices compared to wages.
Wages are growing at a low 2.5% to the previous year. But, prices of homes are growing at a rate faster than that in most metro areas. This can make it hard for first time home owners and people trying to relocate to a new area. Seattle had one of the biggest jumps.
In the graph, the only two regions that were under the national average was Pittsburgh and Atlanta.
Considering that Atlanta has most of whatever else has been asked for in the RFP for Amazon HQ2 and that infrastructure and commuting can be worked on with Amazon in hand and the eagerness to bring HQ2 to Atlanta, we might see long-standing issues like global rail transportation getting back on track. Atlanta is one of the few places that homes are affordable.