//Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability

Economic Research Topics:

  • Housing affordability is a tricky issue to define because so much of it depends on a host of factors not necessarily related to housing.


  • One of the reasons metro Atlanta attracted more than one million new residents last decade was the region’s overall affordability. Metro Atlanta is a low cost-of-living place and home prices reflect this. Numerous studies have shown that when transportation costs are added in, metro Atlanta becomes one of the LEAST affordable large metros for moderate-income families. And lack of affordability is a key issue near job centers.


  • Metro Atlanta’s median sale price of $167,500 in 2014 (Q3) is among the lowest among the largest metros. Among the largest 25 metros, only St. Louis and Tampa have lower median sales prices than metro Atlanta.


  • When transportation costs are added to the costs of housing, however, metro Atlanta is one of the least affordable places for “moderate-income” households. These households in metro Atlanta spend 63 percent of their income on transportation and housing costs. (Moderate-income is defined as those making between 50 and 99 percent of the Area Median Income).


  • There is an overall lack of affordable housing options located near the region’s largest employment centers, which exacerbates transportation costs for many lower-income workers, because they cannot afford to live near their jobs.


  • Renters have a particularly hard time finding affordable options. The average-priced 2 BR apartment consumes more than 60 percent of the average renter’s income, NOT factoring in transportation costs.
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