Time to buy in ‘Quantum Valley’? Upstate New York home prices are set to skyrocket as Big Tech moves in – New York Post

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Will the San Francisco Bay Area tech hub known as Silicon Valley soon be eclipsed by the Hudson Valley?

The sleepy, bucolic area north of New York City, known for its farmhouses, rural ambiance, and spectacular views of the Hudson River, is poised to become the next big tech area if Nvidia co-founder Curtis Priem has his way.

“We’ve renamed Hudson Valley as Quantum Valley,” the multimillionaire told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s up to New York whether they want to become Silicon State—not just a valley.”

While the co-founder of one of the world’s largest microchip companies cashed out long before the market cap topped $2 trillion, he’s not hurting for money. He is reportedly donating $75 million to his alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, slightly north of Albany, so the school can buy an IBM-made quantum computing system. It would be the first of its kind on any campus in the world.

Priem told the Journal he hopes this gift will make the Hudson Valley the epicenter of quantum computing research, attracting the kind of talent that started billion-dollar disruptors such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

Curtis Priem, co-founder of NVIDIA and RPI Board of Trustees vice chair talks with reporters about the IBM Quantum System One. AP

Quantum Valley’s potential impact on housing

What would that kind of tech injection do for home prices in the area? Currently in Troy, the median list price comes in at $250,000. That seems very reasonable compared with venture capital hub Menlo Park, where the median list price is a staggering $3.1 million.

“We have seen big job expansion announcements from companies lead to shifts in the housing market,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Following Amazon’s announcement of a second headquarters in Arlington, VA, in 2018, for example, Realtor.com found home prices increased more for sales in closer proximity to the planned HQ, and there were also more home sales closer to the site in the year after the announcement.”

Local agent Shane Cahill, owner of Ventura Realty Property, agrees.

Hudson Valley is poised to become the next big tech area. Elisa – stock.adobe.com

“At first, prices may rise as demand outpaces supply, but ultimately, developers will increase supply if that is the case,” he says. “We’ve seen similar success up in Malta, NY, about 40 minutes north, with the microchip factories. That development took place mostly on vacant land. A similar revival within a city itself, instead of farmland, would certainly be interesting to witness and be a part of. Troy would be a great fit.”

Cahill notes there are a lot of well-built structures still standing in Troy that were part of the manufacturing boom in the early 20th century that could be repurposed for condos. There is also a lot of vacant land around Troy, something getting increasingly more difficult to find in large metropolises.

Local real estate agent Harriet Norris, of Douglas Elliman, agrees that values in the area might not stay affordable for long.

Homes in the area may not stay affordable for long. CE Photography – stock.adobe.com

“Property values in the area would certainly rise with the need for more housing and commercial space,” she says. “And good jobs in this new technology sector would bring growth and expansion to all sectors of the economy in Hudson Valley and upstate region. I think it’s good news all around.”

Cahill notes that the area has plenty of technology and engineering students because of the two local colleges, RPI and Union. But those students normally take their brain power elsewhere—to New York City, Boston, or Silicon Valley—once they graduate.

“If we could keep the talent here because these new computers are housed here in Troy, there is plenty of room for housing,” he says.

Boutiques and independent stores populate downtown Cold Spring, New York. kirkikis – stock.adobe.com

While Troy could use the boost in prices, the surrounding metro area is already on the upswing.

“If a high-tech corridor develops and companies create more high-paying jobs in the region, it could push home prices higher,” says Hale. “Already, relative affordability in the Albany-Schenectedy-Troy metro area, where the median home listing is priced at $449,900, according to Realtor.com, just above the national median of $430,000, makes the area attractive. The typical home listing price has risen 10.3% from one year ago in the area while Realtor.com reported that nationwide home prices were flat in April 2024.”

The upsides of the area include lots of leafy green preservations, a short commute to the capital city of Albany, many local highways, an international airport, and proximity not only to New York City but also to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

The downsides? You’d have to drive a half-hour to reach the Metro-North commuter railroad, the winters are harsh, and Albany isn’t exactly known for being hip or exciting.

But that could all change with a newly minted billionaire or three. So if you’ve been eyeing a move upstate to the Hudson Valley, it might be time to get a move on before this area sees Silicon Valley prices.

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