Atlanta is an iconic American city and one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It ranks third in the U.S. for metropolitan population growth rate, expanding by more than 90,000 in 2016 to over 5.7 million people. This dynamic pace is being powered by a thriving economy that showed 2.21% job growth in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.59%.
Atlanta is also home to 15 Fortune 500 companies, including The Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and NCR. Home to Turner Broadcasting System, parent company of CNN, in Atlanta is an international hub of media and culture.
This prosperous environment has led to a tight real estate market. Construction slowed significantly during the Great Recession, even as the city continued to grow in population. Single-family homes are in short supply and soaring prices for them have led to a sharp increase in apartment rentals in recent years. This is especially true in Atlanta’s suburbs, as residents are increasingly priced out of the apartment market in central areas too.
Multifamily housing in Atlanta has maintained a 94% occupancy rate for nearly three years. Rents are growing, but that growth is leveling off somewhat, slowing from 5.5% in 2016 to an expected 5% in 2017.
Multifamily housing construction is now surging and offers ample opportunities for property investment. Luxury apartments are being added the most because they make the most financial sense to build due to the higher rents that can be attained. Although the median income in Atlanta is lower than the national average, 8.3% of the city’s population has an income over $200,000 a year, compared to the national average of 5%.
To offset the housing market trend of less affordability, the city government is providing strong incentives for the construction of affordable housing, so there are a wide variety of investment strategies that can be implemented in the city.
Active real estate repositioning has been taking place for several years, especially in the suburbs. Due to the rapid growth in those areas, this market is seen as having compelling investment potential. The Class B apartment market remains lively, but the supply of value-add investment properties is dwindling. This activity is spurring new construction in some suburbs, as well. The complex suburban market and the looming threat of saturation in some downtown and midtown neighborhoods mean that it is especially important in Atlanta to have good real estate investment management.
Analysts forecast that 69,000 households of renters will move to Atlanta between 2017 and 2021. They characterize the multifamily housing market as “very positive.” After experiencing an exceptional growth spurt in the last few years, the market is expected to show steady, moderate growth for the foreseeable future.
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