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Research: Many Atlanta millennials are choosing OTP life

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While many millennials rent inside the city, those who buy are likely to live way, way out, research suggests

Metro Atlanta is a magnet for millennials, with affordable housing options, booming businesses, and delicious pizza. But where those millennials are choosing to live in the metro — when it’s not with mom and dad — may surprise some.

As millennials wrap up college, wince at outstanding debt, and choose places to plant roots, it'd be easy to believe they're selecting the heart of the city, with its walkability, transit access, and nightlife as draws. But an article in the AJC, based on a report by the Atlanta Regional Commission, indicates it may not be that simple.

A map of millennial-occupied housing in the 20-county metro area reveals that beyond just the heart of Atlanta, more far-flung communities are attracting the coveted demographic. Many of the clusters are along major roads and in larger suburbs, where construction of mixed-use communities with more affordability than the inner city serves as a sort of best-of-both-worlds scenario.

While most millennials in the metro are renters, the research indicates that clusters of millennial owner-occupied housing exist in the far reaches of the metro, in places like Barrow and Paulding counties, where real estate is cheap.

With intown prices continuing to increase, more millennials starting families, and non-urban counties ramping up efforts to attract millennials, will the fringes of this map become even more mauve?