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Atlanta's Apartment Rent Growth Ranks 3rd In The U.S.

The Atlanta skyline

Atlanta's multifamily resilience is continuing to hold as the metro area experienced the third-largest rent increase in the nation.

Apartment rents in Metro Atlanta during the second quarter rose 4.7% to an average of $1,247/month, according to a RealPage report. Atlanta's rent growth among large metro areas during that period was behind only Phoenix, with an 8.1% increase, and Las Vegas, which led the nation with an 8.8% rent increase. Sacramento, California, tied with Atlanta during the second quarter.

The demand for apartments outstripped new supply in Atlanta by nearly two-to-one. More than 4,200 units were rented while 2,700 new units delivered into the market, according to RealPage.

“We are creating a solid number of new households and creating some housing demand,” RealPage chief economist Greg Willett said. "Not a lot of that is going to single-family homes by historical standards, so a lot of it is staying in the rental market."

Historically, apartment leasing's strongest periods are in the second and third quarters, particularly as people normally move in the warm months and others start or finish school and find new places to live, Willett said.

While not the strongest second quarter for leasing in Atlanta since the Great Recession — that happened in 2015, when more than 5,800 units were leased in a single quarter — this past quarter was among Metro Atlanta's busiest, Willett said.

Willett does see a slowdown in rent growth next year and possibly in 2021. But the long-term outlook for Metro Atlanta remains favorable, according to RealPage's data.

“We've been adding jobs and creating demand for apartments for a much longer period than is typical,” he said.

On top of that, Generation Z — the demographic cohort after the millennials, born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s — is starting to form new households, which should continue to feed apartment demand.

“We got a lot of young adults who are the primary audience of apartments for another 10 years,” Willett said. "We're not predicting that demand will remain this high for 10 years, but the demographic tailwinds keep going."