Federal report officially lists metro Atlanta housing market as ‘unaffordable’

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - New data officially identifies the metro Atlanta housing market as unaffordable, but residents say they didn’t need the federal report to confirm what they confront daily.

“I didn’t move in until a couple weeks ago,” Dujuana Webster said as boxes, some still packed, scatter her living room. The metro Atlanta mom is just grateful she finally found an apartment she could afford that’s in a location she feels is safe.

After weeks on the housing hunt for something within her means, she was stumped.

“Mentally and emotionally, it’s just very stressful. You don’t know what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go.”

She even moved in with family for some time. So, the renter says she did not need to see the recently released information from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to identify a problem she knew firsthand.

“No,” Webster laughed. “I lived it. Every time I go visit an apartment; they need three times the rent.

How is anybody making that?”

The metro Atlanta housing market is unaffordable, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2022 index.

It measured factors like the median household income in an area plus costs of living, costs of homes.

The map says an index total that is less than 100 equals unaffordable.

Gwinnett comes in at 91.7, Dekalb sits at 86.5, and Fulton is 98.2.

According to the data, Gwinnett’s median income is roughly $71,000 but average costs of a house is about $361,000 with an interest rate of 6%.

In Dekalb, median income is about $63,000 but homes average roughly $344,000. The interest rate is 3.6%.

It’s the same interest rate for Fulton but the median income is about $83,000 while the homes costs an average of $393,000.

“We have a huge inventory shortage. In Atlanta particularly, inventory is about 50%, what it was in the beginning of 2020,” Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud told CBS46.

Bachaud says that means the costs will continue to steadily rise. Adding, it leads to fewer people buying and more people renting which furthers the hike in rent rates and unit availability for tenants the next year.

“A lot of affordability issues in the rental market.” She continued, “if you go re-sign your lease right now, a lot of renters are seeing sticker shock. Where it’s hundreds of dollars a month difference.”

A challenge people like Webster struggle to overcome.

“I want to see more. There’s not enough resources.”