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Report: No foreseeable ‘bubbles’ in Atlanta’s future, generally speaking

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National analysis finds that city and metro economies “remain strong and vibrant”

A northward view, toward Buckhead and Sandy Springs, from Midtown’s new Icon tower in March.
A northward view, toward Buckhead and Sandy Springs, from Midtown’s new Icon tower in March.
Curbed Atlanta

When multifamily living options in formerly downtrodden Atlanta neighborhoods start nipping at the $1 million mark, it’s only natural for talk of another dreaded “bubble” to emerge.

But dropping the B bomb in reference to any facet of metro Atlanta real estate could be premature, suggests a national, annual analysis by Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates called the Blue Book Market Intelligence Report.

The report notes the usual titans of Atlanta industry—Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, the world’s busiest most visited airport—and their continued positive influences on the economy.

But it also specifies that Atlanta is the country’s No. 1 market for corporate relocation now, “bolstering employment, higher wages, and household income while increasing demand for more units in virtually all real estate sectors, particularly multifamily and office space.”

Additional positives working in metro Atlanta’s favor, per the report, are two recently finished sports complexes, the growing influence of Alpharetta’s Avalon, and Pinewood Studios’s support of “the area’s ever-burgeoning movie industry.”

Compare that with, for instance, a note about the situation in Miami and Dade County, Florida: “Vacancies are rising across the board for all property types except office,” analysts wrote. “This is due to the delivery of new high-end construction projects without the necessary increase in high-paid wage earners in the area.”

Other notes of interest, regarding Atlanta’s economy, per the analysis:

The Atlanta Apartment market continues to thrive as a result of ... strong economic fundamentals. Rising employment has increased demand for more units, decreasing vacancy rates, and fostering higher rent rates;

Apartment deliveries peaked in 2017 but a strong absorption last year has helped 2018 get off to a good start;

Atlanta produces more than 40,000 college graduates per year and attracts millennials primarily due to its job growth and affordability;

Office vacancies have been low since 2010 and average rent growth has been 6 percent. Buckhead and Midtown attract big tenants but many large companies are also looking at submarkets outside the core. Tech & IT companies are accelerating absorption;

[On the retail front], average rent is 25 percent less than the nation as a whole, which makes the metro a hot favorite among retailers.

In summation, metro Atlanta’s economy “remains strong and vibrant throughout ... with no foreseeable ‘bubbles,’” per the report.

The analysis logs the City of Atlanta’s population at 472,522, with 5.79 million in the metro now.

The unemployment rate for both—4.1 percent—is a tick above the national average as of April, 3.9 percent.