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Employment Surge in 4th Quarter Helps Atlanta Apartment Market Sustain Momentum

(March 16, 2000) — The Atlanta apartment market ended 1999 on a strong note, according to M/PF Research’s Atlanta Apartment Report. The metro’s employment growth pace surged upward during the 4th quarter, and that economic upturn helped support apartment demand in excess of the metro’s substantial completions. In calendar 1999, the Atlanta metro absorbed some 13,650 apartments, two-thirds more than the demand registered in 1998.

“Apartment demand in Atlanta was particularly impressive during the past year given that the local single-family home market also performed so well,” said G. Ronald Witten, M/PF Research president. “Atlanta ranked as the nation’s #1 market for single-family home starts by a wide margin.”

Apartment completions in 1999 totaled 11,567 units, the second highest yearly total of the 1990s behind 1997’s 16,000+ units. More then two-fifths of the new supply was delivered either in Gwinnett County’s rapidly growing suburban neighborhoods or Atlanta’s revitalized urban locales.

With absorption topping deliveries in 1999, year-end occupancy in the Atlanta area stood at a strong 96 percent. That occupancy rate surpassed the December 1998 figure by 0.8 points and inched up 0.2 points from 3rd quarter 1999’s occupancy level. Furthermore, 4th quarter 1999 was the eighth straight quarter with an overall vacancy rate figure at or less than 5 percent.

“Atlanta’s year-end occupancy rate surpassed the national average by nearly a whole percentage point, quite a feat for a market with so much construction,” said Witten.

Healthy occupancy allowed for solid rent growth. Monthly rents in the metro Atlanta apartment market increased a vigorous 4.4 percent on a same-store basis from 4th quarter 1998 to 4th quarter 1999. That average same-store rent growth exceeded the metro’s overall price inflation level of 3.3 percent. While rent growth nationally reached slightly higher, most of the cities that experienced the greatest rent escalation added very little new supply.

“Among areas with large volumes of apartment completions in the past year, Atlanta and Washington, DC registered much faster rent growth than markets like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Orlando, Las Vegas and Seattle,” said Witten

Atlanta Apartment Market Profile
4th Quarter 1999
Annual Employment Growth 102,300 jobs
Annual Apartment Completions 11,567 units
Annual Apartment Demand 13,560 units
Average Occupancy
  Change in Past Year
96.0 percent
0.8 points
Average Quoted Rent
  Change in Same-Store Rents
$791 per month
4.4 percent

M/PF’s Atlanta Apartment Report is a quarterly report that includes data and analysis addressing the local economy and trends in apartment demand, supply, occupancy and rents. Information is summarized on the metro level and detailed for 14 submarkets.

For more information on M/PF Research, visit the M/PF web site at www.mpfresearch.com.

Since 1961, M/PF Research has been the trusted national expert in apartment market research. M/PF is retained by investors, developers, owners and lenders to prepare project-specific market studies and to produce broader, strategic market selection analyses and reports. M/PF Research, located in Carrollton, Texas, is a wholly owned subsidiary of RealPage, Inc., a leading provider of property management software and web services.

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