“All of my friends are buying homes,” said David Shapiro, 27, a broker with Re/Max around Atlanta.
The pressure seems to be ratcheting up, he said. “We could see prices hitting a plateau, but I do not think they will.”
HOME PRICES RISING: IT’S A SELLERS’ MARKET
Shapiro is part of the trend, he said. “I just bought a home in Brookhaven with my girlfriend, because we were scared that the interest rates were going to keep going up.”
There’s a common feeling of professionals in his age bracket, he said. “A lot of these people didn’t have a real interest in buying a home, but their parents have been telling them they were foolish for renting. Even people who think they are not going to be here in three years.”
And that could be the rub – how long a new homeowner stays.
"It takes more than two years before buying the typical U.S. home makes more financial sense than renting it," said Skylar Olsen, senior economist with Zillow. "It takes even longer in many areas with sky-high home values."
In Atlanta, on average, it takes one year and nine months to make it worthwhile, she said.
In San Francisco, in contrast, it would take about five years, she said.
MAYBE MILLENNIALS WANT TO BUY AND JUST CAN’T AFFORD TO
Besides, the rents in metro Atlanta are going up, too.
But whether or not they are keeping up with home prices depends on which town or city you are looking at. The city of Atlanta, for example, saw rents increase just 2.3 percent during the past year, according to Andrew Woo, a data scientist at Apartment List, an online, San Francisco-based rental marketplace.
The median rent in the city is $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,150 for a two-bedroom apartment.
ATLANTA’S CHEAPEST ZIP CODES
The modest increases in Atlanta is likely the result partly of a spurt in apartment and condo construction in the city. But there has also been a wave of building in the suburbs, so renters have a lot more choices.
Newnan rents have climbed the most – up 10.6 percent in a year, Woo said. The median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,030. A two-bedroom goes for $1,190 a month.
MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.
AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:
Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.