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Study: Rising rents represent ‘surging demand’ in Atlanta, other Sun Belt cities

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Despite spikes, ATL rents remain cheaper than those of most major cities, though

Skyline of Midtown from the south.
A bastion of new (and pricier) apartment living.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

Rent increases in metro Atlanta continue to outpace those of most major U.S. cities, according to a report published last week by real estate technology and analytics firm RealPage.

Since Q2 last year, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell region watched rent prices hike up 4.7 percent.

Rents here have jumped 1.5 percent in the last quarter alone, and the average price is now $1,244, per the study.

Tied with Sacramento, metro Atlanta’s rent spikes since Q2 2018 are trumped only by Las Vegas and Phoenix, which clocked in at 8.8 and 8.1 percent, respectively.

Nationwide, the average rent increase over the same period was just 3 percent, per the analysis.

These rising costs represent what the study considers a “surging demand” for apartments in places like Atlanta.

Across the country, “net move-ins totaling 155,515 units in the April-through-June timeframe topped second-quarter 2018 product absorption by 11 percent, climbing to a five-year high,” according to the report.

In Atlanta, some of these figures are explained by the swell of multifamily development happening in historically underserved neighborhoods.

“The pace of rent increase as of mid-2019 actually has accelerated over the year-ago level, helped by upturns in the performances of properties in the urban neighborhoods that have added so much new supply of late,” RealPage’s chief economist Greg Willett told Curbed Atlanta in an email.

Dallas’s rental scene is on fire, per these numbers.

Added Willett: “Demand for apartments is continuing to come in at substantial volumes, although Atlanta isn’t seeing the sharp spike in product absorption that occurred in quite a few other metros across the country in the second quarter.”

In Q2, Metro Atlanta had a demand of 4,278 units and netted 2,729 move-ins.

Compare that to the 10,443-unit demand and 6,441-unit completion the Dallas-Fort Worth area saw.

Metro Atlanta does, however, have nearly 12,000 rental units under construction that are expected to come online in the next year-and-a-half or so.