Despite national trend of soaring ownership prices, Atlanta counties are enjoying relative affordability
BY MICHAEL KAHN Curbed Atlanta associate editor, architect, urbanist and lecturer. On Twitter and Instagram at @kahngaroux. Atlanta.curbed.com
Relatively speaking, metro Atlanta is an affordable place to own a home for anyone earning an average wage, a new study by ATTOM Data Solutions suggests.
While home prices are undoubtedly rising in the metro — and many millennials think of the city as unaffordable — data reflecting average wages and median home prices in two metro counties specifically indicate that Atlanta still fosters the ability to achieve the proverbial “American dream.”
Fulton County found itself near the top of the list when it came to improving home affordability in the last quarter of this year.
Get this: While home price growth outpaced wage increases in 81 percent of the studied counties across the country, Fulton bucked the trend.
Another bright spot for metro residents was Clayton County, which found itself (enviably) at the bottom of the list of housing prices when compared to the percent of average wage needed to purchase a home. While some New Yorkers require an income well over 100 percent of the average to afford a home, Clayton residents need just 10.4 percent of an average wage to afford a home in the county.
The data aligns with a study that was released last month, which indicated Atlanta wages were growing faster than rents.
However, when considering average wages, it’s quite possible that new, high-paying jobs are skewing the numbers for those who earn far less than the average.
Earlier this year, a study indicated that the average Atlantan would need to make roughly $40,000 a year in order to afford a home.
- Q4 2016 U.S. Home Affordability Index [RealtyTrac]