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Study reveals how much Atlantans must make to afford a home right now

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An annual income of under $43,400 can still snag metro residents an average home.

A renovated 1928 bungalow in Atlanta’s Adair Park neighborhood.
This renovated Adair Park bungalow sold for under $250,000, making it one of the more affordable options in the City of Atlanta.
RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside

Buying the average home in metro Atlanta is an attainable goal for those making $43,400 per year, according to a new study released by HSH.com. The estimate makes Atlanta real estate a relative bargain, compared to other major cities across the country.

The results, which considered average home price, anticipated mortgage rates, and a down payment of 20 percent, found that salary amounts needed to buy homes have come down in the past quarter, but remained relative unchanged over the course of the last year. Adding credence to the report, the results closely echoed a similar study from last year.

According to HSH, the average price of a metro Atlanta home was about $200,000, putting a monthly mortgage at just over $1,000, meaning that mortgage payment is equivalent to 28 percent of the annual salary.

These four properties near Atlanta MARTA stations were priced in the $200,000 range, as of September.

While Atlanta landed in the bottom quarter of cities, the minor decrease in salary needed over the past quarter was not nearly as dramatic as some cities, including the notoriously expensive West Coast tech hub San Francisco, which saw a quarter-to-quarter drop of more than 5 percent.

Just last month, a survey indicated that the majority of Curbed readers who rent feel at least a little “cost burdened.”

And last year millennial residents indicated they were putting off purchasing a home due to high costs. Clearly, there is a disparity between renting and buying in Atlanta.

Of course, the study covers the entire metro area, and as other studies have revealed, homes in suburban Atlanta can cost much, much less than in the city proper.

Still, for many, the survey could be heartening news about home affordability in the Atlanta metro.