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How Hot is the Real Estate Market in Atlanta?

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how is atlanta real estate market

They don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing. Back in 2018, Forbes magazine deemed the Atlanta housing market as one of the best places to invest in real estate. In fact, they reported the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area to be among the 20 best housing markets in the country. According to Forbes:

“The area offers a rare combination of better than average job growth and some runway before homes become overpriced. The housing markets there are not necessarily ones where prices will grow the most in the near future but rather are places where that growth appears most sustainable over the medium to long term.”

Whether you’re looking to invest in residential real estate or are considering relocating there, your timing couldn’t be better. The current demographics for the Atlanta Metro area put the median household income at $55,000. Additionally, the unemployment rate is only 2.9% and the median home price in 2020 is just $189,000. For a city of a half million residents, these numbers are pretty impressive for those looking to invest or relocate. The population density puts it up there with Fresno, California and Tucson Arizona. The difference is that the median price of a home in Fresno is $256,693, while those in Tucson are $212, 618 according to Zillow. Add to this the fact that the median rent for homes in Atlanta, Fresno and Tucson respectively are $1,445, $1,395 and $1,325 and you can see why Atlanta offers a bigger bang for the buck.

While purchasing existing single-family homes to turn into rental properties is one way to go in Atlanta, another popular trend there is to consider Build-To-Rent. Turning an existing dwelling into a rental property necessitates dealing with existing wear and tear. Going the BTR route allows an investor to start with a clean slate that guarantees less upkeep down the road. It also offers more financial flexibility, combined with the high appreciation associated with single-family homes.

Whether you choose to buy or build, lower taxes are also another incentive. A $260,000 home in Fresno has a yearly property tax of $1,690, while the median tax rate for a property in Tucson and Atlanta are $1,539 and $1,448 respectively. Speaking of taxes, while Georgia, Arizona and California all levy a state income tax, Georgia’s is far lower than that of California. Plus, Georgia and comparable to that of Arizona. Better still, Georgia doesn’t tax social security benefits and it offers a maximum deduction of $65,000 per person on all types of retirement income for all those who are 65 or older.

The climate in Georgia is also another reason to give Atlanta a look. While it does see occasional snow flurries in the winter and the occasional scorcher in July and August, the average temperature in January is 43, while the average in July is 82. Mild weather not only means less wear and tear on a home, it also presents more appeal for residents looking to relocate from the northeast. The ten-county region surrounding Atlanta grew by more than 78,000 in the past year alone to nearly 4.5 million residents. The Atlanta Journal constitution reported that:

“The overall metro growth rate of 1.8 percent was the fastest rate the region has seen since the Great Recession. Since 2010, the 10-county area has grown by 8.3 percent or more than 372,000 residents.”

Things To Do in Atlanta

Unlike Fresno and Tucson, neither of which have any professional sports teams, Atlanta hosts the Braves, the Falcons, the NBA Hawks and even a professional soccer team, the Silverbacks. The city also boasts the world-class Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta Zoo, numerous museums and other attractions of historical interest, as well as more shopping and restaurants than can be listed in this article.

In short, Atlanta offers everything any big city has to offer combined with a slow, southern charm.

Hot Neighborhoods

The good news is that the real estate market has been growing strong in Atlanta for the past ten years. Below are some of the best neighborhoods for investment purposes:

  1. Buckhead
    This area offers the convenience of residential and commercial properties including banks, high-rise offices and hotels surrounded by residential neighborhoods chock full of single-family homes and parks. Kind of like the best of both worlds for those looking to live and work in the city without having to endure a long commute, this upscale area also boasts higher than rents which average $1,700 with a median purchase price of $350,000.
  2. Castleberry Hill
    If you’re looking for something with historic merit and a high return on investment, this could be just the ticket. The historic district is located less than a mile from Atlanta University, which translates into a constant demand for rental property. The area has a bohemian flair, sporting oodles of art galleries, quaint shops and cozy restaurants. With a median purchase price of $263,000 and an average rental price of $1,270 per month, the return on investment on the Hill is hard to beat.
  3. Clayton
    Looking for a bargain in the big city? Check out Clayton. Whether you have limited capital to invest or are looking for a high return on investment, this neighborhood offers properties that sell for little more than $100,000 while returning an average rent of $1,000 a month or more. Clayton has also experienced something of a population explosion since the turn of the century, since it has virtually doubled its residents.
  4. Midtown
    This is the area most overlooked by investors seeking residential property, but it shouldn’t be. Buying property in the second largest business district in the city nearly guarantees occupancy, since demand outstrips supply. What won’t be outstripped is your wallet, due to the fact that the median purchase price for a property here is $350,000 with an average rent of around $1,400 a month.

In short, if you’re looking for an area that offers affordability, great cashflow and high equity growth, Hotlanta could be the real estate investment hotspot for you.

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