Economic Gains Attract Tenants and Investors to Atlanta

Metro Atlanta apartment operations have made substantial strides since the downturn and show no signs of slowing. Employment growth in the region exceeded the national average for four years and is expected to surpass pre-recession levels this year. Broad-based job creation is attracting more people to Atlanta, fueling demand for housing. Over the past year, net migration surged 42 percent as 32,800 individuals moved to the region. Motivated, multifamily developers ramped up construction in 2013, following three years of subdued activity. Despite a substantial increase in supply, pent-up demand resulted in vacancy tumbling to 6 percent in the third quarter of this year, the lowest rate since 2007. This year, new supply will fall slightly below last year’s level and is concentrated in highly desirable areas of Buckhead, Midtown and downtown Atlanta. A bulk of the total will come online in the fourth quarter, though elevated tenant demand will sustain tight vacancy. Both newly built apartments and strong demand for rentals will put upward pressure on average rents, marking a fifth year of growth.