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Is Buckhead Still Atlanta’s Priciest Rental Address?

Buckhead is one of Atlanta’s most coveted urban addresses, and for good reason. The tony Atlanta neighborhood’s mix of residential and commercial amenities continues to make it attractive to a variety of renters, helping it maintain its rental price lead over competing addresses. Alan Wexler, CEO of Atlanta-based real estate research provider, Databankinfo.com, says that part of Buckhead’s strength is in the diversity of its renter base.

“Buckhead draws a variety of people – everyone from new college grads, to former suburban empty-nesters and corporate types. The neighborhood appeals to a broad array of people at different life stages.”

While the average Atlanta 1 bedroom/1 bath property rents for $805, according to Wexler, properties in Buckhead can surpass the $1,000 per month mark. (At the most luxurious high-rise rentals, that figure can even exceed $1,500.)

Is Midtown Catching Up?

Atlantans noticing the numerous new condo and apartment building additions to the popular Midtown neighborhood might wonder whether it’s catching up to Buckhead in rental prices, as well. Wexler notes that Midtown’s prices are still below Buckhead’s – and are likely to remain there – for a couple of important reasons: younger tenants and older rentals.

“First of all, Midtown is a much younger neighborhood than Buckhead. Plus, on the whole, Midtown construction is still older on average than Buckhead’s…that’s starting to change, but there are still more old(er) properties than in Buckhead.”

Another reason for Buckhead’s higher rental rates? Its proximity to many work locations. Many corporate workers opt to live and work in the same neighborhood, and Buckhead yields more such convenience. MARTA’s new area shuttle, The Buc, is one example of Buckhead’s easy home-work commutes.

Long-Term Trends

In the near- to medium-term, Buckhead’s distinction as Atlanta’s priciest rental address is likely to remain. The factors in its favor – work/residential convenience, entertainment and shopping amenities, and a diversified renter base – are unlikely to dissipate.

If you look a bit further out, however, new trends begin to emerge: City-wide rental occupancy rates, Wexler mentions, are at about 95 percent, signaling the need for rising prices, new construction – or both. Databank’s information shows more than 11,000 new units are slated to hit the metro Atlanta market in the next 12 months.

“Nearby counties, such as Gwinnett and Cobb, haven’t built as many apartment and condo properties in recent years, but they will soon begin to do so, and that will impact the rental price dynamic city-wide,” says Wexler.

And the improving economy may bode more strongly in favor of rentals than home ownership due to demographic reasons: According to recent research by the Federal Reserve, many young adults will find themselves finally able to move out of their parents’ homes or roommate situations.

If you’re among the thousands of Atlanta renters seeking a place to live, you can check out the useful tools at GeorgiaHousingSearch.org, where you can not only search for a new rental property, but also create a housing and moving cost budget and locate renters assistance programs, if you qualify. As always, happy home hunting!

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