Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, has a population of 5,268,860 according to the most recent US census (2010) figures. The Atlanta MSA spans 28 counties and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country. Last year, 200 residents per day moved to the Atlanta metro, 21% of which were within the prime rental age of 20-34.
The greater Atlanta apartment market has begun to benefit from increasing population growth and a shortage of supply. As a result, vacancies have seen a 1.1% decrease year to date, preceded by a 1.9% drop in 2011. Additionally, year-end city-wide estimates project nearly 3.5% effective rental growth for 2012.
Atlanta is currently home to the fourth most Fortune-500 companies in the U.S., with 10 located within the MSA including; AT&T, Coca Cola, First Data, GE, Genuine Parts, Home Depot, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Publix Supermarkets, and Spring. The metro’s job base expanded 2.6% (60,000 jobs) in 2010-11 (Property Portfolio Research) and employment levels are at 95% of the pre-recession peak (Marcus & Millichap Apartment Research Report: Atlanta). Over the long term, forecasted employment growth in Atlanta is expected to outperform most other metro regions. Low living and business costs should continue to foster strong population gains and corporate relocations and expansions.