Atlanta’s dynamic renting landscape has been a cesspool of mixed messages in recent years.
On one hand, MONEY magazine anointed Atlanta the country’s second-best destination for millennials two years ago (behind only Austin), citing strong job growth and relatively easy rents. Other studies have pointed out that merely 30 percent of young Atlantans can afford to buy a home or condo right now, leading at least one worried millennial to declare the so-called affordability crisis a crushing reality.
This week, the mixed messages continue. The news is neither good nor terrible for renters of Atlanta.
Online rental service Apartment List has analyzed Census data on renter incomes and rents in hopes of determining which U.S. markets are most affordable for renters.
The good news locally, per 2016 data: Atlanta ranks below the national average for renters who are “cost-burdened” (that is, those who spend 30 percent or more of income on rent), and the unfortunate/unwise souls who are “severely cost-burdened” (50 percent or more of earnings go to rent).
The bad news? An awful lot of Atlantans are still feeling the renting pinch, per Apartment List.
More than 48 percent of Atlanta renters last year were technically cost-burdened, making the ATL the 53rd most affordable market of the nation’s top 100.
Meanwhile, roughly 24 percent of local renters were severely cost-burdened in 2016, per the analysis.
More sour stats: Between 2005 and 2016, rents in Atlanta have swelled by 6.9 percent; renter incomes, meanwhile, climbed less (4.7 percent).
Overall, the South and Midwest remain generally more affordable than their coastal counterparts, especially Florida and California, which have the largest shares of cost-burdened renters.
But enough from the national number-crunchers ... let’s hear from Atlanta renters living these realities right now, whether it’s good or not-so good.
Let your voice be heard with the poll below. Please, be honest:
Renters of Atlanta, how "cost-burdened" are you right now?
This poll is closed
You know, I’m doing okay. Rents are fair for what the city offers.
This is San Francisco South. My rent is killing me.
Rent hikes have hurt, but I’ve made adjustments to make ends meet.
Come on, renting in this town is a bargain!
I probably bit off more than I can chew. I don’t even use my building’s hot-yoga studio and VR arcade.
I’m holding on, but I’m terrified.