Atlanta continued its delayed yet broad expansion, sustained by solid population growth and a successful economy. Demand for housing has increased rents by 5.4 percent year-over-year through November to $1,255, still trailing the national average. While the figure is lower than in many major metros, Atlanta’s cost of living has risen faster than average incomes. The 20,000 units delivered since the start of 2017, although a record mark for the metro, are quickly being absorbed, with the occupancy in stabilized assets climbing to 94.4 percent in October, 10 basis points over last year.
Atlanta’s economy is thriving: Some 60,300 jobs were added, a 2.0 percent year-over-year employment growth rate, led by trade, transportation and utilities, up by 17,200 positions year-over-year through September. A significant part of Atlanta’s economy is directly linked to the national and global connectivity provided by Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which is currently undergoing a $6 billion expansion process.
Apartment construction is elevated, with 8,500 units delivered in 2018 through November, while more than 19,000 apartments were underway. Some $5.1 billion in multifamily assets traded hands, at an average per-unit price of $118,794, up 9.6 percent year-over-year but still well behind the U.S. figure. With demand high, rent will likely continue to rise in Atlanta in 2019.