The Atlanta housing market isn’t yet ideal for buyers, but according to AJC business reporter Michael Kanell, “the trend of ever-greater competition for a shrinking number of properties seems to have peaked,” and local buyers may want to consider making a deal.
Still, according to Re/Max data, average home prices have been on the rise in recent years. In fact, they were up about 8 percent last year.
But there are certainly several factors to consider before making the big purchase. Do you have enough saved for a down payment? What do your extra expenses look like? What are your priorities?
The overarching question: Can you even afford it?
According to a recent report from HSH, the nation’s largest publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, you’ll need to earn an annual salary of $49,840.16 to afford an average Atlanta house priced at $216,100. That’s with 20 percent down and comes out to a monthly payment of approximately $1,162.94. If homebuyers in the metro area choose to put 10 percent down instead, the required salary jumps to $57,394.96.
The new numbers represent an 8.65 percent increase in average home price and .17 percent increase in salary needed to afford an average Atlanta home.
In January 2018, the average home in the area cost $204,300, and the average monthly payment averaged $1,012.40, requiring a salary of $43,388.44 per year.
Data for the HSH analysis came from the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, as well as the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. To determine exactly how much a homebuyer needs to earn to afford an average home in the country’s 50 most populous areas—for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage—HSH researchers examined interest rates, property taxes and insurance costs.
Of the 50 metros included, Atlanta is the 14th least expensive in America, according to the report. California cities San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles are among the most expensive metro areas for homebuyers.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.