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Study: Not even IT wages are keeping up with Atlanta’s rising rents

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Metro Atlanta sees the biggest gap between rising rents and tech wage growth, analysis finds

Aerial view of Midtown Atlanta, with a skyline at left and the highway to the right.
San Fran of the South?
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

The ATL has become known for its thriving IT job market, and there are no signs job growth in that sector will be waning soon.

However, the folks with those IT jobs may be finding it harder to track down an affordable place to live.

According to a new RENTCafé study, apartment rents in Atlanta have jumped 14.4 percent in three years, while IT salaries have experienced a more modest 6.2-percent, three-year increase.

These numbers contradict traditional thinking that high-paying IT jobs—and there are tons in Atlanta, even relative to places like San Francisco and Seattle—are the cause of quickly escalating rents, with salaries cushy enough to ooze disposable income.

However, right now, average metro Atlanta rents clock in at $1,261 per month, while the average tech wage is $90,800, per the study. As housing demand continues to rise, so, too, will apartment prices.

And much of that housing demand could come from workers with IT jobs.

Over the past three years, Atlanta IT jobs have increased 18.5 percent, and that number is expected to grow as more companies make the move to the city and surrounding areas.

The question will be, “Where will they live?”

Could rising rents force these workers to seek housing farther Outside the Perimeter, which, in turn, will further impede the daily commute for Atlanta workers throughout the metro area? Something to consider.