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Despite rampant income inequality, Atlanta (again) ranks as ‘most affordable’ metro

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Analysis: Metro Atlantans also pay the least percentage of principal and interest fees of the 10 fastest-growing cities

Like the city itself, Atlanta’s outskirts remain beacons of relative affordability despite top-three population growth, a recent study found.
Like the city itself, Atlanta’s outskirts remain beacons of relative affordability despite top-three population growth, a recent study found.
Getty Images/EyeEm

For longtime Atlantans in fast-developing neighborhoods, hearing that they live in the country’s “most affordable” metro area might sting.

In recent years, Georgia’s capital has been found to have some of the worst income inequality issues in the country.

Nevertheless, financial analysts keep pointing out how relatively affordable Atlanta remains, thanks to higher incomes and lower housing costs than other major metropolises.

Recent research published by NerdWallet, using data gathered by the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. Census Bureau, and NerdWallet surveys, compared 172 cities to rank the 10 “fastest-growing metro areas.”

Once again, Atlanta finds itself atop the list as the most affordable of the bunch.

NerdWallet’s study says the median home price in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell region in Q2 was $228,800. Median household income was clocked at $62,613.

Metro Atlantans also apparently pay the least percentage of their monthly income in principal and interest fees. At 18.2 percent of their monthly income, the average household is paying around $950—the least of all the top 10 cities.

Compare that to the 33.6 percent of monthly incomes that Seattle households shell out for principal and interest payments.

The popular intown selling point that is Piedmont Park.
Josh Green, Curbed Atlanta

In the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro, pinned as the least affordable of the bunch, the median home price is upwards of $530,000 and the median household income is about $78,000.

Having added more than 89,000 people in just a year, Atlanta is the third-fastest-growing metro, falling just behind Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.

According to Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, these cities are booming in part because they have space to grow—and “few physical barriers, such as mountains and oceans”—along with governments that are supportive of development, NerdWallet reports.