Why Atlanta? A 2016 Perspective

1) Atlanta is an affordable place to live and buy property

Economists tell us that the following metrics, among others, define affordability: median household income, median home sale price, cost per litre (gallon) of petrol, average commute, cost of living index.

In 2013, the US Census Bureau’s ‘American Community Survey’ showed that the median household income for the nation was $52 250, but that metro Atlanta’s median household income was above the national average at $55 733.

How this correlates to housing prices is that if individuals and families have more expendable income, they will be able to spend more on housing, resulting in a higher median housing price [see ‘Median Sales Price, Quarterly’, for Atlanta’s current median house price in the Keller Williams 4Q 2015 Metro Market Report].

While property prices have seen a significant increase over the past two years [see ‘Median Sales Price History, Monthly’ in the Keller Williams 4Q 2015 Metro Market Report] and property experts predict that these are set to rise by an additional 5.6% this year, purchasing in Atlanta remains good value.

Affordability can be calculated by dividing the median home sale price by the median household income. Anything between 3 and 4 shows good affordability. While dividing the median home sale price for Metro Atlanta ($230,000 in March 2016) by the median household income ($55,733 in 2013; US Census Bureau, as reported above), gives a ratio of 4.12, the actual ratio is below 4. This is because incomes would have increased since 2013 – for interest, the ratio in 2013 was 3.46 as the median home price was $193,000.

2) Atlanta’s growing population translates into high demand and low levels of property inventory

The Atlanta area remains the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country, with a head count that grew by 1.7 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Factors boosting the city’s popularity as a business hub include:

  • a diverse economy with multiple industries;
  • easy global and domestic access;
  • an international presence; and
  • a highly educated and talented workforce

With a number of big corporations choosing to base their headquarters in Atlanta – the likes of Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Sony Mobile Communications, CNN and The Home Depot – well-educated and highly skilled staff members are needed to fill the employment gaps.

Not only did 52 700 US citizens from elsewhere in the country move to Atlanta in 2014, but Atlanta also has the second-fastest-growing foreign-born population in the US (of its 20 largest metro areas) [see ‘International Presence Metroatlantachamber.com].

The low cost of doing business – compared to other US cities – is another attraction, for corporates and entrepreneurs alike [see ‘Competitive Business Climate‘, from Metroatlantachamber.com]. In fact, on KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives ‘Cost of Doing Business’ rating scale, Atlanta shows a rating of just 96.2 in comparison to Los Angeles (100.9), Boston (101.2), New York (103.4) and San Francisco (104.5).

With a 2.7-million strong workforce, 35% of which have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, this all translates into an extensive demand for decent housing.

And lastly, increasing sales combined with a low inventory of listings has maintained the seller’s market of the past three or so years [see ‘Supply of Listings, Months’ in the Keller Williams 4Q 2015 Metro Market Report].

Why Atlanta? Why YDL!

The info above should make it pretty clear as to why it makes perfect sense for South Africans contemplating offshore property investment, to do property flips in Atlanta. Additionally, YDL Property Investment has worked tirelessly over the past four years to fundamentally understand the US property market and to bring this exciting opportunity to its locally based investors.

Email AntonQuestions? I’d love to hear from you. Email me on anton@ydl.co.za.

Warm regards,