Population and Employment Trends
You can’t talk about supply and demand within the housing market without touching on population growth. And Atlanta’s population trend over the last few years can be summed up with two words: gradual growth.
The population of the city and surrounding area has grown gradually over the last few years. This brings more demand into the local real estate market, on both the rental and purchase side. As of 2017 (when the last measurement was taken) the city of Atlanta had a population of around 486,290. The broader metro area had a population of around 5.8 million during that year.
In April of that year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote:
“Thousands of people are moving to metro Atlanta from around the country, increasing the region’s population to nearly 5.8 million, according to the U.S. Census. Metro Atlanta gained the fourth-most residents in the nation last year, with 90,650 additional people making the area their home.”
This growth trend contributes to demand within the local housing market, and is partly why home prices have risen steadily over the past few years. While housing inventory appears to be on the rise in Atlanta, demand could rise along with it (to some extent). As a result, we expect to see continued home-price appreciation for most parts of the metro area during 2019 and into early 2020.
Employment is another important consideration for home buyers. This is true for investors as well as “regular” buyers who plan to occupy the homes they purchase. In short, a strong local job market gives buyers the financial means to purchase a home, and to keep up with their mortgage payments.
And there’s good news here as well. The Atlanta area experienced job growth during 2018, outpacing the national average during some months. The unemployment rate for this metro area was around 3.3% as of May 2019. That was down from a post-recession high of around 10% back in 2011.
Current economic and labor conditions within the Atlanta metro area are favorable and will likely help fuel housing demand throughout 2019 and into 2020. This is partly what accounts for the (mostly) positive real estate market forecasts for Atlanta.