PHOTO: Google-Pool-Room-Sydney

It was only a matter of time before the world’s largest technology giants started revolutionising one of the last vestiges of the old world: property.

Last year online retail behemoth Amazon’s search for a new US headquarters captivated everyone from politicians to local property developers. With their huge evolving workforces, the investment decisions of such companies can drive house prices through the roof, spark rampant speculative development, transform the fabric of communities and seal the fate of shopping centres.

As Amazon’s share price grew 900 per cent between 2012 and 2018, house prices doubled in the company’s home town of Seattle. In Palo Alto, a neighbourhood of Silicon Valley, where Facebook and several other tech companies have their offices, the median property price increased by 145 per cent from $US1.32 million in 2012 to $US3.24 million ($4.5 million) at the end of 2018.