Atlanta Real Estate Market

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 24, 2021

The Atlanta real estate market is experiencing growth in 2021. After a rough 2020 and a rough winter as well, many people are leaving northern states in search of sunshine, jobs and recreational activities. People are also now able to work from home, which makes it much easier for them to relocate their families to southern states and start fresh after an exhausting year. Not wanting to be stuck inside any longer, people are moving to get to nicer weather and more opportunities. 

Current Atlanta Market Conditions

  • The number of households in Atlanta has gradually increased since 2016 and has jumped by 52,000 year-over-year. 
  • Home prices are up 15.6% since last year and have increased by more than $100,000 in the past 5 years. 
  • After a steep drop last year, 249,500 jobs have been added.

Buying a House in Atlanta

Atlanta Home Prices

Atlanta median home value: $312,000

National average: $371,000

Home prices in Atlanta have been increasing the past few years, rising 15.6% year-over-year. Although values have surged, nationally there has been an increase of 22.4%, leaving Atlanta a bit behind. However, being on an upward trend is great news for the Atlanta housing market. 

Atlanta Housing Supply

Currently, there is only a 1-month supply of homes in Atlanta. This is a very low supply, much like most of the country is seeing. The national average is at 1.1-month supply, down from 1.87 last year. Atlanta has had a greater drop, declining to a 2.21-month supply since last year. With such a low supply and a high demand for homes in this area, home values are continuing to rise. Buyers coming to this area should expect to pay more for a home and be ready for a competitive market. Sellers can list their homes confident that they will go quickly for a healthy price. 

Buying a Rental Property in Atlanta

Atlanta Rental Prices

Atlanta median rental price: $1,645

National average: $1,704

Rental prices in this city are at an all-time high. Prices had been closer to $1,100 for rentals in 2016. In just 5 years these prices have increased to $1,645. They are continuing to rise at a rapid rate, increasing 10.2% year-over-year. Although nationally rentals are higher priced, Atlanta’s rental prices are rising faster and getting close to the national average. Compared to the national average, which has risen just 3% year-over-year, Atlanta is proving to have a hot rental market. 

Atlanta Rental Vacancies

Atlanta rental vacancy: 4.9%

National average: 6.8%

The rental market in Atlanta is in high demand, with just a 4.9% vacancy rate. This means that it’s pretty hard to get into a rental in this popular city. Compared to the national average of 6.8%, Atlanta looks like a favorable market for investors to get into. Similar to the national average, it has dropped 0.8% since this time last year. While Atlanta’s rental market seemed to stagger a bit in recent years, the increase of households and job opportunities appears promising for a continued healthy market for real estate investors

Atlanta Foreclosures

Atlanta foreclosure rate: 0.2%

National average: 0.3%

Foreclosures are down 0.1% in both the Atlanta market and nationally. At just 0.2% in Atlanta, this is good news and bad news for some investors. It means that people want to live here. They are paying their mortgages and keeping the housing market healthy. For investors who flip homes, though, it’s harder to find foreclosures to redo and profit from. If you happen to find one, it would be a home run. You’d make a great profit in this market and sell quickly. 

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Northside Drive NW and Mount Paran Road NW is notably the most expensive suburb of Atlanta. It is more expensive than 99.1% of neighborhoods nationally and homes here go for more than $1.6 million on average. These established homes range from large homes with more than 4 bedrooms to high-rise apartment buildings. Most residents here have a bachelor's degree or higher and enjoy living in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood with low crime and many active retirees. Residents hold jobs as professionals and executives as well as a variety of work-from-home careers. 

Oakgrove is a popular suburb known for its low vacancy (2.3%) and older homes. Many were built in the 1940s to 1960s, with some newer homes from the ’70s and ’90s, too. Mostly single-family homes and townhomes in the $500,000 range, same-sex couples account for 3.2% of the residents in this neighborhood. Executives, professionals, families and retirees all enjoy this neighborhood together as highly educated individuals. More than 80% of the adults in this town have a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

An urban neighborhood in Atlanta worth mentioning is Morningside. This is another wealthy area with executives and professionals making up most of the workforce. Their homes are well maintained and hold their value (around $765,669), with a vacancy rate of just 3.9%. Here, you wouldn't be surprised to see luxury-brand vehicles as well as residents biking to work. Public transportation is also a possibility in Morningside. 

Beulah Heights and Beulah Heights University is a more moderately priced suburb of Atlanta. While home values are generally less than $400,000, rental prices are actually higher than 91.6% of other rental markets in Georgia. These homes range from studio apartments to mid-sized single-family homes. Alongside highly educated residents, this is a popular town for prospective and enrolled college students. The walkability and safe neighborhoods make it a great place to live. 

Atlanta Economic Condition

The economic conditions of all cities big and small have felt the effects of the pandemic. However, with many guidelines changing and businesses opening up, we are seeing positive effects on the Atlanta economy. Atlanta has added 249,500 jobs since last year, and the city is seeing unemployment rates dropping considerably. The excitement and nightlife of Atlanta, along with its college towns and activities, make it a place people want to come to visit, work and stay. 

Atlanta Unemployment 

Atlanta unemployment rate: 4.1%

National average: 6.1%

While Atlanta’s unemployment rate was on a downward trend before the pandemic, it hit a spike last year and is now making great strides to get back down to normal levels. Compared to the national average of 6.1%, the city is doing great. Atlanta is actually seeing unemployment numbers less than what was recorded in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Being the headquarters of many worldwide companies such as The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Atlanta and its suburbs have a promising chance of bouncing back as more companies are able to open to full capacity and hire their workers back. 

Atlanta top Employers

The largest employer in Atlanta is Delta Airlines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), which employs 80,000 people. Being a major airline in a popular city, Delta Airlines serves people wanting to travel to Atlanta as well as making connecting flights to all parts of the world. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport, with the most traffic both in passengers and operations. Now that travel restrictions have lessened, people are ready to travel and explore again. This brings people to Atlanta and job openings to its residents. 

Emory University School of Medicine is the next-largest employer in Atlanta, employing 40,000 people. The university offers medical degrees, Ph.D. programs and top physical therapy programs. The faculty and residents here care for patients in clinics and hospitals in and around the Atlanta area. More than 20 local hospitals are associated with this university. With an increase in the need for healthcare professionals, we may see a rise in enrollment in this university as well. 

With its headquarters located here, it should be no surprise that one of the largest employers in Atlanta is Home Depot, which has more than 10,000 employees. Home Depot has been one of the busiest chain stores in the last year, with homeowners having the time to fix up their homes and opt for do-it-yourself fixes instead of professional help. Renovations have given people a way to enjoy their homes again as well as getting homes ready for the bustling real estate market. 

The Bottom Line on The Atlanta Real Estate Market

Atlanta is home to many large employers that will help bring the economy back to what it was prior to 2020 and maybe even make it better. With beautiful weather, popular colleges and universities along with major retailers and the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta is a city that can overcome this bump in the road. The housing market is proving that it's well on its way already. 

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