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MSA Overview: Atlanta, Georgia

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MSA Overview: Atlanta, Georgia



MSA Georgia
Atlanta Georgia

Rent and Operating Performance

Given the strong economy and continued in-migration from the northeast and surrounding areas, Atlanta’s apartment demand remains elevated. Traffic and leasing across the metro are above the national average. However, significant new supply continues to dampen key multifamily fundamentals, including rent and occupancy.


Traffic and Leasing

  • Across the Atlanta metro, properties average 8.9 tours per week and 2.5 new leases signed per week. As is typical this time of year, traffic has begun to increase, and over the past month, properties are averaging nearly one additional tour per week.
  • Traffic is the highest in northern and western suburban submarkets, including Smyrna, Buckhead, South Gwinnett, and Sandy Springs/Dunwoody. In each of these submarkets, weekly traffic exceeds ten tours per property.
  • Some of the fastest traffic growth is happening in Decatur, Coweta County, and South Fulton, where tours have jumped by more than two per property over the last month.
  • New leases are being signed at the highest rate in South Gwinnett, Sandy Springs/Dunwoody, and Coweta County. These submarkets average more than three new leases signed weekly, a half lease higher than the Atlanta average and a full lease higher than the national average.



  • The Atlanta occupancy rate is 93.7% and has fallen quickly since its peak at 96.3% in September 2021. Atlanta trails the national average by roughly 60 basis points.
  • Clarkston/Stone Mountain, Smyrna, and Coweta County have some of the highest occupancy rates in the metro, with each submarket falling between 94.5% and 95%. These submarkets are also some of the strongest growing for occupancy, as average occupancy has increased at least 50 basis points in each submarket over the past month. Only two other submarkets across the MSA have posted monthly occupancy gains.


Net Effective Rent

  • Atlanta’s average NER is $1,779, roughly $100 below the national average. As a relatively affordable market, especially compared to northeast and west coast peers, Atlanta has a strong runway for continued growth. Paired with a generally favorable business climate, I expect the migration to continue in the coming years.
  • Midtown/Five Points boasts the highest rents in the metro, but rents have fallen from last summer’s peak. Buckhead rents are the second highest in the metro, and while their rents have also fallen from last year, the past month has shown solid growth, with average NER up 1.2% over the past month.
  • While average rent in Smyrna and South Gwinnett is below the Atlanta average, the submarkets have seen the strongest growth in the metro. Rents are up 1.6% and 1.3% over the past month. South Gwinnett rents are up nearly 4% year-over-year compared to an MSA average decline of 2.5%.


Atlanta’s metropolitan area has a thriving economy, boasting a GDP of $385 billion, which ranks 11th in the United States and 22nd globally. The concentration of corporate operations and the city’s status as a transportation hub contribute significantly to this impressive economic performance. Atlanta’s reputation as an epicenter for Fortune 500 companies is well deserved, as it houses the country’s third-largest concentration of such firms. The presence of a highly educated workforce only adds to the region’s appeal to these multinational corporations. Atlanta’s significant contributions to the media, entertainment, IT, and film production industries are widely recognized.

A Few Fortune 500 Companies Located in Atlanta:

Ranked by revenue.

  • Home Depot – #17
  • United Parcel Service – #34
  • Coca-Cola – #93
  • Delta Air Lines – #113
  • Southern Company– #153
  • Aflac – #161
  • Genuine Parts – # 191
  • WestRock – #192
  • PulteGroup – #267
  • Mohawk Industries – #330


Employment Trends

Atlanta boasts one of Southeast’s most diversified employment markets, with robust and steady job growth. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities make up roughly 22% of all jobs in the Atlanta metro, followed closely by the Professional and Business Services sector at 19.5%. However, Health Care, Government, and Leisure and Hospitality also make up a significant weight in the Atlanta employment market.

Atlanta has been one of the best job markets in the country and one of the fastest to recover from COVID-19. Its current unemployment rate of 2.6% is among the lowest in the nation and is nearly a whole percentage point below the national average. Job growth remains, and as of December 2022, jobs have been created in all but one month since April 2020. As a regional hub for commerce, culture, education, and health care, Atlanta remains one of the strongest economies in the Southeast.

Market Overview

Atlanta is the capital of the 8th most populous U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2022 U.S. Census, the city’s population within its boundaries is 499,461, making it the 38th most populous city in the United States. However, this figure only captures part of the city’s influence, as Atlanta is also the center of a much larger metropolitan region with more than 6.1 million people. Consequently, this makes it the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.



Atlanta, founded in 1847, established itself as a significant transportation hub with the convergence of several state-funded railroads, including the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Atlanta was vital in distributing military supplies during the American Civil War until the Union Army captured and destroyed the city in 1864. After the Reconstruction era, Atlanta gradually rebuilt and experienced exponential growth in the early 20th century. It became a central organizing center for the Civil Rights Movement, with Martin Luther King Jr. and other African American leaders playing a prominent role. In 1973, Atlanta elected its first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, whose years in office oversaw the modernization of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, leading it to become the world’s busiest airport in 1998, a position it has maintained except for 2020, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Atlanta rests in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, situated within the southeastern region of the United States. With an elevation of 1,050 feet above the average sea level, Atlanta has the highest altitude among the significant cities east of the Mississippi River.



Atlanta divides into three primary high-rise districts running north-south along Peachtree: Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead, with 242 officially designated neighborhoods. The more spacious, low-density neighborhoods surrounding these densely populated districts feature predominantly single-family homes.

Downtown is the leading office space provider in the Atlanta metropolitan area, with government entities occupying a significant portion. Besides housing many sports venues and tourist attractions, Downtown is a bustling hub of activity. Midtown is the second-largest business district, home to numerous regional law firms, educational institutions, and cultural and artistic landmarks. Additionally, Midtown features dense urban developments. Buckhead, located approximately eight miles north of Downtown, is Atlanta’s uptown district. Buckhead contains an urbanized core along Peachtree Road and suburban single-family neighborhoods among woods and hills. As Atlanta’s third-largest business district, Buckhead offers an eclectic city and suburban living mix.




Population and Income

Atlanta’s population grew by 1.14% in the last year and 18.7% over the past decade, according to the latest census. DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Cobb are some of the most densely populated counties in the greater Atlanta area. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) predicts that Metro Atlanta will add 2.9 million people over the next 30 years, resulting in a total population of over 8.6 million. The Median household income of Atlanta households is $69,164. With an average monthly rent across the metro of $1,779, the average rent makes up roughly 30% of the median income.

Race & Ethnicity

  • White: 41.0%
  • Black or African American: 48.2%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%
  • Asian alone, percent: 5.0%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • Two or More Races: 3.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 5.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 39.1%

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