Rent is beginning to drop in select U.S. cities, and Atlanta is on the list

While the nation has been experiencing rising rental costs, according to Realtor.com, the rental market is finally beginning to cool down. Over the past three years, rental prices have increased by over 20%, while the earnings of renters only increased by about 10% within that time. Economists predict that rental prices will continue to climb in 2023, though at a slower rate. For nine of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, however, rental prices entered a year-over-year decline as of November 2022.

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Atlanta made it to the sixth top spot on the list with a total 1.8% reduction in year-over-year rental prices as of Nov. 2022. With New Orleans, Austin, and two Florida cities listed within the nations’ top ten metros for lowering rental prices, it’s a trend that’s increasingly popular in the South.

“People started to move back to big cities,” Realtor.com economist Jiayi Xu told the website. “During the [COVID-19] pandemic, people were moving to the Sun Belt areas like Florida. Now, when we look at data from Boston and Chicago, demand there is up.”

MetroYear-over-year price change
Riverside, Ca-5.5%
Las Vegas, Nv-4.9%
Sacramento, Ca-4.8%
New Orleans, La-2.8%
Phoenix, Az-2.0%
Atlanta, Ga-1.8%
Tampa, Fl-1.8%
Jacksonville, Fl-0.8%
Austin, Tx-0.6%
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Atlanta stands out from among the other top metros on the list because it’s home to some of the priciest studio rentals, Realtor.com said. As of Nov. 2022, the median rental price for Atlanta was $1,689.

The national housing market, however, will remain in a weak spot during the winter of 2023, Freddie Mac’s chief economist Sam Khater said in a recent report. Atlanta’s housing market, specifically, had a median sales price of $370,000 in Dec. 2022.

With a 20% down payment at that price, with a credit score of 700, Atlanta homeowners are paying $2,360 for their 30-year-fixed rate mortgages. As Atlanta residents earning the U.S. Census’ estimate median income can only afford 68% of those monthly costs, the rental market remains a crucial part of housing in the city.