It’s been a good year for Atlanta real estate. The city seems to have recovered from its post-market crash slump, with real estate prices rising past previous records. Average and median sales prices were far above 2014’s numbers, and show no sign of slowing down. The median sales price in December was $225,000, up 7.1 percent from last December. The average sales price was $286,000, also up by 5.5 percent from 2014. Demand for housing has also seen a significant increase of 4.7 percent.
The housing prices in Atlanta are far from emblematic of the state. Georgia remains one of the most affordable states for renters, with an average two-bedroom price of $750 per month. But rental prices in Atlanta are far steeper: the median cost of a two-bedroom apartment in North Atlanta is $1,570 per month, and Atlanta proper is not much cheaper, at a median of $1,500 per month. The disparity between the metropolitan hub and the rest of the state is quite significant, and points to Atlanta’s rise in prominence in recent years.
Atlanta’s office market is also breaking records. The city reached its highest annual occupancy gain since 2000, at 3.7 million square feet of office space absorption. Direct occupancy rates have also reached a fourteen-year high. But most impressive is Atlanta’s class A full-service gross asking rates, which have increased by 7.9% in the past year. This impressive spike can be partially attributed to the expansion of the economy: with new jobs created comes the need for more office space. There is very low vacancy in Atlanta office spaces, which has allowed landlords to push rental rates past historical records.
Continued gains in the Atlanta housing market are expected for 2016. The Urban Land Institute ranked Atlanta fifth in the list of top ten real estate markets to watch in 2016, coming up behind Dallas, Austin, Charlotte and Seattle. All sectors of the Atlanta real estate market were reviewed positively by the survey. However, some commentators are noticing a slight slowdown, especially in terms of home sales and prices. Though additional gains are likely, it seems that prices will fall short of the double-digit gains that were recorded over the past few years. But this is still entirely speculative: the numbers have not seen sufficient drops to qualify as a veritable “cooling.” It is important to remain weary of changes, but all signs are good for the time being.