Atlanta remains one of the best cities to invest in real estate in the USA in 2019

Whether you are looking to invest in physical property assets, either buying-to-let, or buying-to-renovate-and-sell, or if you are considering a consistent, sustainable, passive income-generating vehicle such as our private mortgage lending opportunities, make sure it is an informed decision.

We’ve researched the latest facts and figures, opinions and forecasts to provide you with insights into the Atlanta property market.

Metro Atlanta

Metro Atlanta is the business capital of the south-eastern United States. The global business hub is one of the fastest growing metros in the US, home to 5.9 million people, and more than 150,000 businesses. The metropole covers approximately 22,592 square kilometres divided into 29 counties.

Residents experience an exceptional, yet affordable quality of life, and enjoy access to arts, culture, sports and nightlife. The temperate climate makes outdoor activities popular, and those that call the city home can often be found picnicking in Piedmont Park, hiking the Beltline or biking the Silver Comet Trail.

There’s no denying Atlanta’s appeal for single professionals, and families alike, but what do the stats reveal about its viability for investment in residential property?

Metro Atlanta Property Market

Atlanta remains one of the healthier real estate markets in the United States. In 2019, PwC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate® United States and Canada report again ranks Atlanta within the top 20 markets for real estate investing. Moving up from its previous 17th position, to sit at number 11, Atlanta’s continuing attractiveness is buoyed by its strong ability to attract new residents; a labour force participation rate that is well above the comparable U.S. rate; projected 2019 employment growth rates that are expected to be well above the national growth rate; the need for more affordable housing to meet demand; and a higher percentage of the metro’s population falling under the age of 44.

Home prices in Atlanta have risen steadily over the past six years, with a post-recession price-surge of roughly 25 percent over the past three years. According to a report from the Atlanta Realtors Association, in December 2018, the median price of a home in metro Atlanta has risen 7.6 percent to $234,900. While Atlanta has leaned towards a seller’s market in the past, there are indications that a shift to more of a buyers’ market is coming.

Demand for housing in the metropole is not keeping pace. The area is steadily attracting more millennials, who either can’t afford to buy, or who simply favour renting homes instead. This imbalance between supply and demand results in home prices rising more slowly. As there is an increasing demand for affordable rentals, buying a rental property in the Atlanta housing market will make for a smart investment in 2019.

In addition to prices rising more slowly, more inventory has become available in more counties, which has resulted in the market moving closer to “neutral” territory, which means buyers do have the chance to make great deals. DeAnn Golden, president of the Realtors group said “The Atlanta market closed out the year in a stronger position of available homes than it did in 2017, due at least in part to the growth in local listings in the last quarter.”

Metro Atlanta housing, compared to a year ago

Total sales: -21.3 percent
Median sales price: up 7.6 percent

Source: Atlanta Realtors Association

Median sales price, end of year:

2018: $234,900
2017: $218,000
2016: $205,794
2015: $192,900
2014: $179,000
2013: $159,000
2012: $126,925
2011: $103,000
2010: $123,400
2009: $140,705

Source: Re/Max

A business-friendly environment

Metro Atlanta has the largest economy of all metros in the Southeast region, and is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 1000, and 197 Inc.5000 companies. The gross domestic product of the United States is more than $20 trillion a year, metro Atlanta alone accounts for an estimated $300 billion. While it may have lost out on Amazon’s huge regional centres, Atlanta continues to lure many companies, as witnessed by recent announcements by BlackRock who plan to locate its tech centre in Fulton County, Norfolk Southern, who are moving their headquarters to Atlanta and BioIQ, that will have its headquarters in Cobb County.

The metro is business-friendly, and according to KPMG’s, Competitive Alternatives: Guide to International Business Location Costs, 2016), has the lowest relative cost of doing business among the nation’s 10 largest metro areas. These are both key elements for growth and opportunity.

Tax benefits, such as the Georgia Film, Television and Digital Entertainment Tax Credit, which allows for a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production or post production in Georgia, are one of the major drawcards bringing businesses into the metro. Another is its status as a primary transportation hub, with access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, railways, deep water ports, and interstate highway systems. The metro’s growing, innovative talent pool, fed by the numerous local higher education institutions, also appeals to businesses keen to find specific skill sets.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber identified six key industry segments that are seeing incredible growth. These include: bioscience, financial technology (FinTech), technology, supply chain management, Internet of Things (loT), and Mobile.

While many companies are being started in the city, others are moving into the metro area too. In 2018 alone, 57 companies announced the opening of new locations in Atlanta. Downtown, midtown and Buckhead are key business centres, but growth is happening outside those areas too. Alpharetta for example, is quickly becoming known as the “Technology City of the South,” It is home to 640 technology companies, including 45 FinTech companies, 20 biotech companies, 105 software development companies, 22 data centres and virtual hosting companies, and 197 IT service and consulting companies, among others.

Approximately 60,800 jobs were added Metro Atlanta in in the past 12 months, and the unemployment rate had fallen to 3.4 percent.

A better quality of life

According to Penske Truck Rental’s annual ranking, which analyses one-way consumer truck-rental reservations across the country, Atlanta has been the top moving destination in the United States for the last eight years. The US Census Bureau, has projected that Atlanta’s population growth will reach 7.3 million by 2020, making it the 6th most populated metro area. This city is attractive to people mainly due to its strong job market and labour participation.

So what makes the metro so appealing? Many move to the metro for its high quality of life. Factors which attract professionals, families and retirees include; employment, cost of living, education, healthcare and access to amenities, climate, and more.

According to the Atlanta Regional commission, Metro Atlanta’s overall cost-of-living is slightly below the national average. If the national average is given a ranking of 100 points, then the Atlanta region has a ranking of 98.8, between Houston (98.1) and Pittsburgh (99.4). Among the 25 largest metro areas, the Atlanta region is 18th most expensive. It ranks 9th most affordable in terms of rent, and 6th most affordable when it comes to home prices. Healthcare in metro Atlanta however is 7.5% more expensive than the national average. While there are concerns that Atlanta’s housing prices have climbed faster than wages, region’s costs are modest by comparison to Silicon Valley, Seattle or New York.

According to Georgia’s Labour Force Estimates for December 2018, the Atlanta MSA has a civilian labour force of 3,097,605, of which 2,986,892 are employed, and 110,713 are still looking for work. That’s an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent and it’s down from 4.1 percent in December 2017. (That’s just below the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.) Layoffs were also low in 2018 – 13 percent below the levels of the previous year.

In the past 12 months, metro Atlanta has added 60,800 jobs. That represents about two-thirds of the jobs added in Georgia. Construction was one of the fastest-hiring sectors, with jobs up nine percent from the same period in 2017.

Strong gains were made in numerous employment sectors in the metro over the year, many well above the US average, as shown by the October 2018 statistics.

The projected 2019 employment growth rate in Atlanta is expected to be well above the national growth rate.

When it comes to education, Metro Atlanta residents are spoiled for choice. More than one million students are served through metro Atlanta’s 37 public school systems that include 1,100 elementary, middle and high schools. It is also home to approximately 350 private schools.

There are 64 two-and-four-year colleges and universities in the Atlanta and Athens area. The largest public universities within the metro are Georgia State University (GSU), Kennesaw State University (KSU) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Private universities in metro Atlanta include Emory University and Mercer University, among others.

There is plenty to keep you busy when you’re not at work. There is a strong art, food and culture scene in Atlanta. Active Atlantans have plenty to keep them busy, such as a round of golf on one of the more than 100 public, private and semi-private golf courses, or fishing, swimming or boating on Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. If tennis is your game of choice, the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association is the largest city tennis league in the world. For those who enjoy watching sports, rather than participating, the Metro is home to 10 professional sports franchises.

Atlanta property investment opportunities

When you take the property market, the business climate, the cost of living and the lifestyle into account, it’s clear that Atlanta is a strong market in which to invest. YDL has a number of investment opportunities ranging from active to passive income options.

To learn more about buying-to-let, or buying-to-renovate-and-sell or our private mortgage lending investment opportunities, visit our website at www.ydlpropertyinvestments.com or contact us today to arrange a one-on-one appointment.

Contact YDL today to arrange a personal consultation, and discover how we can help you expand your investment horizons. Contact us

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