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Washington D.C. Photo: Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images.

A host of challenges lie ahead for the Washington D.C. area as an Amazon HQ2 finalist, as housing production has fallen behind and home prices and rents have been climbing in surrounding areas, per an analysis from the nonprofit Urban Institute.

Why it matters: Amazon CEO and owner of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, has clear ties to D.C. as the e-commerce giant continues to expand into new and highly regulated business areas. But if D.C. is chosen, Amazon's arrival with tens of thousands of new jobs could further clam up a slow housing trajectory.

The big picture

Washington D.C. is offering four areas to Amazon: Anacostia Riverfront, NOMA- Union Station, Capitol Hill East and Shaw-Howard University.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments estimates there needs to be 235,000 more housing units by 2025 to keep pace with expected job growth, but is expecting about 170,000 new units by 2025.

  • Amazon is promising an additional 50,000 new jobs that could push a production target above 267,000, requiring a substantially higher pace of housing production above current levels, the Urban Institute said.

Housing prices have been climbing steadily since 2010, especially in Arlington County and the District of Columbia, where median sales prices now surpass $500,000, per CoreLogic Market Trends.

High-income renter households have sky-rocketed in Loudoun County and D.C. Between 2011 and 2017, rent prices in Loudoun shot up 11% and climbed 8% in D.C., according to Zillow Rent Index.

The bottom line: Similar to D.C., the housing crunch is likely to happen in many other finalist cities. Without more housing production with wider price points, "rising affordability pressures and lengthening commutes will intensify, and more households will experience hardship," the report said.

Go deeper:

 This story has been updated to reflect corrected housing data provided by the Urban Institute.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.