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Analysis: Gangbusters Atlanta apartment construction is slowing down this year

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Even so, rising home prices continue to drive more residents into rentals, despite increasing rents

The crane-filled skies of Midtown in December 2016.
The crane-filled skies of Midtown in December 2016.
Curbed Atlanta

Apartments have been sprouting up left and right since the Great Recession ended, with thousands of them coming online (or forthcoming) from Avondale Estates to Brookhaven to Vinings to College Park.

But, according to a recent report by RENTCafé, the rampant construction of apartments in metro Atlanta is hitting a speed bump.

Using data from Yardi Matrix, the report states apartment construction in the City of Atlanta is down by 2 percent, with just 6,048 new units expected to materialize by the end of the year. Last year, the city delivered 6,191 new apartments.

Outside city limits, the story’s a bit different.

Decatur is expected to add 631 new apartments this year, with Sandy Springs adding 530 units. Marietta and Chamblee are expected to add 400 new apartments each.

As a result, developers in the Atlanta metro are planning to build around 9,547 new apartments this year, 13 percent more less than last year, after its population increased by 1.6 percent.

[UPDATE: Due to an error in PR email communications, the above statistic that metro-wide apartment construction grew in 2017 was incorrect.]

The view from Modera Midtown apartments, over NCR headquarters, in March 2017.
Curbed Atlanta

However, Atlanta is not alone in this trend. Per the report, on a national level, apartment construction is slowing down in 2018, with an estimated 283,000 new units expected to be completed. That’s 11 percent less than last year.

But even with a slowdown in apartment construction, demand for apartments is hardly dwindling, the analysis found.

On the contrary, the report states the sheer number of renters has been on the increase in recent years, and given still-rising home prices, demand for rentals is expected to go up as well.

Using data estimates from Yardi Matrix, RENTCafé also compiled a list of “2018’s Best and Worst Apartment Markets for New Deliveries” featuring 101 U.S. metropolitan areas.

That Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Roswell is ranked the No. 8 best market could be an indication the apartment-construction cranes won’t be migrating to hotter markets soon.