Atlanta Multifamily Report – Winter 2021

After an initial shock in the second quarter, rent growth rebounded strongly in the second half of 2020.
Atlanta rent evolution, click to enlarge
Atlanta rent evolution, click to enlarge

Atlanta’s relatively affordable rental market has rebounded, with a helping hand from migration from higher-priced cities. The average rent, which contracted for a brief period through June, marked a 0.7 percent uptick on a trailing three-month (T3) basis through November, to $1,354. The figure remains below the U.S. average, which was flat on a T3 basis for the fourth consecutive month, at $1,465.

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Atlanta sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge
Atlanta sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

Although employment contracted by 6.1 percent in the 12 months ending in September, the metro was among the country’s top performer during the recovery phase. Unemployment dropped from a 12.7 percent peak in April to 6.6 percent in September, and preliminary data for October pointed to continued improvement, with the rate sliding to 4.7 percent. Atlanta’s workforce composition allowed a substantial share of employees to work from home. In addition, trade, transportation and utilities—the largest sector—inched up 0.5 percent in the year ending in September and is poised for continued expansion. Still, air travel and the leisure industry continue to struggle due to a lack of visitors, which, in turn, is affecting tax revenue collection.

Development and transaction activity softened in 2020 through November. Developers delivered 9,090 units and had 19,604 units underway, while transaction volume reached $3.8 billion. Meanwhile, the price per unit rose 16.6 percent to $139,308.

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