This Week in Atlanta Real Estate: Single-family rental market shines, job gains and more

by Meg White

In a white paper released Thursday, Freddie Mac did a deep dive on single-family rentals (defined as detached homes, townhomes and two- to four-unit properties) and found demand for these rentals to be higher than expected in Atlanta. Part of this demand is being fueled by institutional investors, which came to invest in this market segment much more heavily than they had in the past in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.

“Institutional investors have tended to concentrate their investment in certain markets… such as Atlanta,” noting that the areas they prefer are those “where there was a low price-to-rent ratio and where properties had experienced substantial declines in value during the Great Recession.” Freddie Mac cited a report by the University of Southern California for the Research Institute for Housing America which shows in 2012, there were 2.6 million more single-family rental households than expected. Nationally, that amounted to 22.1 percent more of these households, but in Atlanta, the number was much greater, at 56.5 percent.

Freddie Mac was bullish on the question of whether this demand will continue beyond the recovery: “While we may see some single-family renters move to ownership, we also see the need for SFRs to increase due to constrained affordability and the size of the millennial generation,” the report concluded. Learn more about how Freddie characterized the plight of small investors when it comes to securing financing for single-family rentals.

In other local real estate news:

  • In their November market activity report released last week, the Georgia Association of Realtors reported new listings increased 2.9 percent year-over-year to 11,438. However, pending sales were down 2.3 percent for the same time period. Affordability is decreasing as well; the association’s index showed a whopping 19.3 percent decrease year-over-year, as the median sales price increased 8.0 percent to $215,000 in November.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia added 99,000 net jobs in the year ending November 2018. Though states with larger populations beat out Georgia in terms of number of jobs added, the gains did put the state in the top tier nationally. The BLS found Georgia’s 2.2 percentage growth in new jobs to be statistically significant.
  • Curbed Atlanta put together a list of the city’s most expensive single-family home sales for 2018, and found them to be generally all located in or around north Atlanta’s Buckhead district. The listings ranged from a manse on a four-acre lot in the Paces neighborhood that sold for $8.92 million to a $3.97 million manor near central Buckhead.