How zombies and James Bond kickstarted a luxury housing boom in Atlanta

by Peter Thomas Ricci


Luxury home sales in Metro Atlanta soared in 2015, and according to a new report, agents have zombies and 007 to thank for the surging market.

In the newest luxury home sales report from Christie’s International Real Estate, the brokerage reported that luxury sales in Atlanta rose 25 percent last year, and it credited the metro area’s strong courtship of TV and film companies for the increase.

Atlanta first offered tax incentives to the film and TV industries in 2005, and the city enhanced them in 2008. Since then, the popular TV show “The Walking Dead” and numerous other films and TV shows have taken advantage of the area’s low costs and set up shop, fueling the housing market.

Zombies, Secret Agents and Atlanta Housing

Not only have the incentives ushered actors, directors and producers to the area, but entire film studios as well – Pinewood Studios, the British studio behind James Bond, is now setting up an enormous complex outside the city. “The city’s prime property market is set for future demand from industry executives,” Christie’s report read.

Christina Bach Norman, a buyer’s agent with Collette McDonald & Associates with RE/MAX Around Atlanta, not only services many entertainment professions, but was, initially, one of them herself.

“I’m a professional actress, and I moved here to be closer to all the new TV and film and commercial projects,” she said. “There are many actors and industry professionals I meet who are moving here permanently, and there are others who travel and work in many markets, yet want to invest in property here in Atlanta because they spend months at a time working here.”

And the report spotlighted one final source of luxury demand – university tech incubation programs have attracted venture capital, and the area is enjoying the fruits of a burgeoning tech sector.


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