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Report: Less than 1⁄3 of Atlanta millennials own houses or condos right now

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Once a bastion of relatively cheap housing, ATL ranks 23rd among major cities for homeowners age 35 and under

A renovated Craftsman bungalow for sale in Inman Park Atlanta.
What $1.1 million buys in Inman Park right now.
Keller Knapp Realty

As recent studies and insightful (if somewhat sad) interviews have proven, it’s hard out there for an Atlanta millennial right now. In many cases.

At 87 million strong in the U.S. alone, millennials are largest generation in the country’s history, and their impact as homeowners on urban housing markets will be increasingly profound as time moves on, per a recent Harvard University study.

But for now, millennial homeowners in Atlanta—like many other cities—are far outnumbered by millennial renters.

Despite a national uptick in millennial homeownership (those under age 35), only 29.9 percent of metro Atlanta millennials currently own the place they’re living in, according to an analysis by apartment listing service ABODO.

That slots Atlanta at inglorious No. 23 among large cities (and 93rd overall).

And it means a greater percentage of millennials are owners in larger or comparable cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington D.C., per the study.

Maybe that’s a result of rapidly heating prices in Atlanta. Or maybe ATL millennials are smitten with so many new rental options and can’t bother with pesky mortgage pre-approval processes.

Recent findings by

The big-city percentage leader is Minneapolis, where more than 42 percent of millennials are homeowners, per the data.

At the opposite end is greater Los Angeles, where only 17.8 percent of millennials have mortgages.

Some other key findings pertaining to the ATL:

  • In metro Atlanta, the average value of a millennial-owned home is just $200,416;
  • nonetheless, the average millennial in the region would have to save for more than 11 years to squirrel away a downpayment on a home;
  • perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Atlanta is home to 70 percent millennial renters, per the study, which analyzed 2015 Census data for the country’s 100 largest MSAs, by population.

The study concludes:

“Young adults used to account for a much larger portion of homeowners than they do today—the prevalence of college, mounting student loan debt, and an increasingly tight housing market are slowly pushing back the age of first-time homebuyers.”

Here are the results, in map form, which color Florida and Georgia as outliers in the Southeast:


Metro Atlanta doesn’t appear on the graphic below, but it’s nonetheless interesting, illustrating a national homeownership decline among young people that’s just recently started to inch back up:

Lastly, some random facts from the Harvard report: Metro Atlanta issued more building permits (36,400) than the Los Angeles area last year, but far less than Dallas (55,800).