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Survey: 72 percent of Atlanta renters plan to relocate eventually

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But metro Atlanta is the third hottest destination in the country for renters in other cities, study finds

Buckhead's CityPlace project in April last year, while still under construction.
Renter central: Buckhead's CityPlace project in April last year.
Curbed Atlanta

Are Atlanta renters fickle on the city?

On the surface, that’s what the results of a recent Apartment List analysis would seem to suggest. But like other Sunbelt cities, Atlanta remains a big sweltering magnet for renters put off by crappy winters and exorbitant prices in more northern and coastal locales.

The rental listings hub surveyed a whopping 24,000 renters nationwide and parsed their own internal search data to reach interesting conclusions regarding renters—a group that, of course, is traditionally more mobile than homeowners.

First the good news, for those who like growth: Atlanta clocked in as the third most popular destination for renters leaving other cities. Washington D.C. and Los Angeles bagged the top two spots, respectively.

But roughly 72 percent of renters in Atlanta said they plan on settling down in a new city. That’s higher than the national average of 64 percent.

The problem certainly isn’t the weather; it’s more about better job opportunities elsewhere, as this chart illustrates:

The most popular destination for decamping Atlanta renters? That’d be Los Angeles, the survey found.

On the flip side, Atlanta is the top out-of-state target for renters in Charlotte, Columbia, Orlando, Kansas City, Orlando, and Tallahassee. If you’ve lived in Atlanta for much time at all, you’ve likely met people from one or more of those places.

Big picture, analysts found that “Sunbelt renters are more likely to settle in their current location, while renters living in the Midwest and on the coasts are more likely to plan on settling down in a different metro.” Why? Affordability is the biggest issue on the coasts, while people leaving the Southeast cited better gigs elsewhere.

One gripe about Atlanta—of course—involved traffic.

Only about 7 percent of renters complained of commute time nationwide, but dubious standouts included Dallas (15 percent of renters were concerned) followed by Atlanta (13 percent) and Washington D.C.