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Financial help website says metro Atlanta is the ‘most affordable big city’

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It also claims we have a “thriving downtown” and “massive” transit network

A photo of the Midtown and downtown Atlanta skylines.
An affordability mecca?
Curbed Atlanta

As far as nationally recognized superlatives go, the things Atlanta is best known for don’t tend to start with the word “affordable” anymore.

Year after year, our city maintains a spot atop the list of American cities with the most severe income inequality issues.

Adding salt to the wound, last year, Atlanta failed to earn a nod on the list of 300 “most prosperous” cities, according to a study which analyzed various municipalities based on proportional changes between 2000 and 2016.

These demerits notwithstanding, financial help site WalletWyse last month identified metro Atlanta as the “most affordable big city,” clocking the average single-family home price at under $200,000.

“Atlanta is the only city on our list where the typical single-family home is still a good distance south of $200,000,” the article says.

Other analyses would suggest that’s not quite right. Property values have been rising in recent years, and RE/MAX said the median home sale price for this March was about $237,000.

Still, that’s a plenty appetizing number, especially compared to the higher costs in the other cities cited in the WalletWyse study—Chicago, Houston, and smaller markets Minneapolis and Tampa Bay.

WalletWyse said it’s a common misconception that big-city living means sardine-packing into costly spaces.

“For most of us, the big city conjures up visions of cramped quarters with rental fees that devour the majority of the monthly budget,” the site asserts. “We’ve challenged this assumption with a customized affordability index that applies median state-wide income to home prices in large metropolitan areas of more than 3 million people.”

The blog also praised Atlanta for its skyscraper stock and “massive” transit network, the latter of which certainly raised some eyebrows in local social media circles.

“It’s also a bona-fide Southern big city that happens to have 100 buildings above the bona-fide skyscraper height of 100 meters,” the site reads. “This thriving downtown, along with a massive network of busses, trains, and highways, enables a regional population of almost 6 million people to call the Atlanta area home.”

A “thriving downtown,” eh? Maybe one day soon.