Atlanta rent growth among nation’s fastest

Metro Atlanta rent increases are the fifth-highest in the nation, yet the region remains relatively more affordable to renters than most of the hottest markets, according to a series of reports.

Rents in the area are up 4.4 percent, with the median rent of $1,394 for all types of rentals, according to Zillow, a Seattle-based real estate data company.

Four metros grew faster, including Sacramento, which had the most rapid hike, an 8.2 percent increase during the past year, said Aaron Terrazas, Zillow senior economist. “Rental appreciation slowed between 2015 and mid-2017, but is once again picking up steam.”

Despite the pace of rent increases here, 18 regions still have higher median rents than Atlanta, according to Zillow. For example, San Jose – the heart of Silicon Valley – has a median rent of $3,514.

Even the national median at $1,445 is higher than Atlanta’s rent.

In general, a growing population and job growth puts pressure on housing.

The rental market is moving largely because of what is happening in home sales, where it is harder in Atlanta for first-time buyers to find an affordable home, he said. “With home prices continuing their rapid climb, it’s becoming more and more difficult for renters to become owners, forcing them to rent longer than they otherwise would have.”

Zillow says median home prices in metro Atlanta rose 8.7 percent in the past year – far faster than the typical wages have been rising, and some reports say the growth is even stronger. That keeps some people from becoming homeowners, which just adds to rental demand.

If there had not been so much construction of apartments, rents would be a lot higher than they are, Terrazas said.

RealPage, a Texas-based company that provides data analytics to the real estate industry, said the nation’s rents have been rising for eight consecutive years, despite construction of apartments in many markets.

Atlanta’s rent has climbed 35.1 percent since 2010, according to RealPage. Nationally, the average apartment rent has grown 28.5 percent in that time.


AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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