If you can afford the down-payment and you’re going to stay a few years, experts say the math is pretty clear: it’s generally cheaper to buy a home rather than rent.

But the equation in Atlanta has been shifting.

Atlanta, a metro area that historically has been dominated by homeowners, has seen a dramatic surge of apartment construction the past decade – along with a steady flow of young professionals, many of whom are comfortable with renting.

And the variables are changing – especially for first-time buyers.

Not that rents are dropping, rents throughout Metro Atlanta are up an average of 2.4 percent during the past year, with the median two-bedroom at $1,170 a month, according to Apartment List.

All 10 cities tracked by the company in the region have seen rents rise, according to the San Francisco-based online rental site.