Even before we wrote that the remaining Atlantic Residences were snapped up in bulk by a Florida investor, we were ready to echo some positive news. Condo absorption rates continue to increase for Atlanta, and some developers are seeing their projects finally closing out after turbulent starts. It's not all rosy. There are still some zombie buildings out there (The Brookwood comes immediately to mind, though even it is nearly half sold). Big haircuts were taken to get these projects to their present place, and in many instances, the original developers are long gone. But a scarcity of new condos caused by positive absorption and lack of new supply coming online in the near future is a good thing. We should expect to see rising prices, which would be a welcome relief for more than a few existing condo-owners who've been bunkered in over the last half-decade. And if the trends can hold steady, the business case for major new condo development may not be far behind.
Even with improved prices, Atlanta will not be an ideal condo market anytime in the near future. The relative availability of land, a remaining glut of condo resales and the still-strong preference for single-family homes mitigate the demand for condominiums. And as we saw even before the Great Recession, there is a rather shallow pool of Atlantans with the wherewithal or desire to spend in the neighborhood of high six figures for a high-rise condo. That buyer is shopping in Miami and generally from Brazil.