In general, a growing population and job growth puts pressure on housing.
The rental market is moving largely because of what is happening in home sales, where it is harder in Atlanta for first-time buyers to find an affordable home, he said. "With home prices continuing their rapid climb, it's becoming more and more difficult for renters to become owners, forcing them to rent longer than they otherwise would have."
Zillow says median home prices in metro Atlanta rose 8.7 percent in the past year – far faster than the typical wages have been rising, and some reports say the growth is even stronger. That keeps some people from becoming homeowners, which just adds to rental demand.
If there had not been so much construction of apartments, rents would be a lot higher than they are, Terrazas said.
RealPage, a Texas-based company that provides data analytics to the real estate industry, said the nation’s rents have been rising for eight consecutive years, despite construction of apartments in many markets.
Atlanta’s rent has climbed 35.1 percent since 2010, according to RealPage. Nationally, the average apartment rent has grown 28.5 percent in that time.
Fastest growth in median rents over a year
1. Sacramento, 8.20 percent
2. Riverside, 6.70 percent
3. Seattle, 4.90 percent
4. Minneapolis-St Paul, 4.50 percent
5. Atlanta, GA 4.40 percent
Highest median rents, by metro
1. San Jose, $ 3,514
2. San Francisco, $3,412
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, $2,746
4. San Diego, $2,548
5. New York/Northern New Jersey $ 2,401
14. Atlanta $ 1,394
Fastest rent growth since 2010
1. San Jose, 51.3 percent
2. Oakland, 51.0 percent
3. San Francisco, 48.6 percent
4. Denver, 46.9 percent
5. Portland, Ore., 44.5 percent
10. Atlanta, 35.1 percent
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