The rental market in and around Atlanta saw overall moderate price increases in 2016, according to a recent report by apartment search website RENTCafé. However, one part of Atlanta and a few of the suburbs were quite active last year, to say the least.

East Atlanta (zip code 30316) has finally confirmed that it is ATL’s most in-demand neighborhood, and has the numbers to prove it. Average prices for apartments shot up 13.5% last year, surpassing the $1,000/month mark. Rent prices in East Atlanta grew more than in any other neighborhood, thanks to an influx of millennial and baby boomer renters. It was followed by 30317 (Kirkwood and adjacent areas) with a 9.5% rent increase, no longer a low-priced neighborhood, with a rent average also well above $1,000/month.

The majority of Atlanta’s zip codes (including 30309 and 30308 covering Midtown, Old Fourth Ward, and Downtown) experienced price hikes last year. The exceptions were affluent 30327 and 30305 – roughly Buckhead and Peachtree Hills – where the opening of several new apartment buildings has caused the already high-priced apartment market here to cool down. Rent prices fell approximately 2.2% in 30327 and 1.5% in 30305.

After a relentless 3-year upward trend, the price of apartments in Atlanta started cooling down in 2016, with December rates reaching $1,300/month on average, $12 less than the October average. City-wide, rent in the city of Atlanta increased by 4.5% in 2016 versus 2015, a moderate growth that’s due to a generous amount of new apartment supply that came on the market throughout 2016, approx. 5,000 units.

However, a large real estate market like Atlanta — with a solid economy and an ongoing influx of population — is expected to continue thriving.

Rent prices in the metro area overall have increased by 5.5% in 2016. A few suburban markets were, in fact, more active than Atlanta urban. Ever more popular Chamblee, GA was the fastest-growing rental market in Metro Atlanta, with rents up a whopping 13.7% y-o-y to hit a worrying $1,207/month.

Otherwise a quiet suburb, Lithia Springs apartments are also demanding much higher rates than they did a year prior; rents in the area have jumped 12.6% over the past 12 months to $1,076 on average.

Finding an affordable home is becoming tougher even in renter-friendly Decatur, with apartments now commanding $928/month, a 7.4% increase compared to 2015.

Fortunately for some renters, the area’s most expensive markets are starting to lose steam. Vibrant Sandy Springs is one of them. Now may be the best time to be looking for rent here, with prices having settled at $1,359. The high number of completions is keeping prices in check and Sandy Springs closed 2016 as the 3rd slowest-growing market in the area, with rent growth as low as 1.3%.

Overall, rentals in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area averaged $1,128/month 2016, less than the national average rent of $1,210/month, and well below the top 10 most expensive U.S. metros.

RENTCafé is a national apartment search website, part of the Yardi companies. Rent rates are provided by sister company Yardi Matrix, an apartment research firm covering large-scale multifamily developments in 124 U.S. markets.

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