Atlanta consistently tops lists of the best places to live. With its warm climate, relative affordability, and booming tech sector, it’s a magnet for a diverse range of buyers. But like the rest of the country, the Atlanta metro real estate market has fluctuated significantly in recent years. Let’s take a look to understand the current state of things in the ATL.
Atlantans want new homes
At the beginning of this year, many sellers expected the soaring prices and intense competition we saw in 2021. Meanwhile, buyers were waiting for prices to drop, and less competition. But today, our research reveals that buyers and sellers agree: it’s still competitive; interest rates are concerning; and homes are overpriced.
In Atlanta, the majority agree with our research. We recently surveyed Atlanta home buyers and sellers* who told us they believe the local market will continue to be competitive this year, including rising home prices, multiple offers, and bidding wars. Despite those concerns, 62% of buyers and sellers think it’s currently cheaper to buy than rent, and most are looking for either new construction homes (79%) or homes built within the last two years (62%).
We looked at the top 10 neighborhoods in the Atlanta metro area to see where people were moving at the start of this year, and the most popular towns include:
30052 – Loganville
30188 – Woodstock
30040 – Cumming
30349 – Atlanta
30024 – Suwanee
30019 – Dacula
30157 – Dallas
30101 – Acworth
30016 – Covington
30127 – Powder Springs
Atlanta’s most popular areas
The #1 area on our list, Loganville, is a great place for those looking to expand outside the city. The town is centrally located between Atlanta and Athens, making commuting to either city easy. Homes are more affordable than other parts of the city and there is a distinctive blend of mainstream stores and restaurants alongside locally-owned businesses like antique stores and coffee shops.
“Convenience is a big driver for buyers moving to quieter locations, but still want access to freeways to get around the area,” says Adam Kappel, Atlanta Broker for Opendoor. “We know that affordability is also top-of-mind for many, so these areas – like Woodstock and Cumming – have newly built homes at varying price points, while still offering easy access to lakes, parks, dining and entertainment options.”
Areas like Suwanee and Dallas continue to grow in popularity. Coming in at #5 on our list, Suwanee boasts a lively downtown with extensive entertainment options and lots of newly built homes. Our #7 area, Dallas, is farther out from the city and highways. But with its stock of affordable new homes, the rise of remote work, and a growing main street, it’s becoming a popular choice.
Most Atlantans agree that where they live has a big impact on their happiness: 70% told us they would move to a quieter place, while more than half said they would move into a smaller place, even if they had to reduce their belongings to do it.
As we look ahead to the second half of the year, Atlantans are prioritizing simple-sizing. Some 83% say they are focused on living more simply, with 70% saying they want to downsize within the next year. However, they are split between wanting to be near restaurants, shopping, and nightlife (58%), in a quiet and secluded location (58%), or close to outdoor activities (57%).
Sellers are laying low
As we’ve seen across the country, sellers seem to be waiting on the sidelines. In Atlanta, nearly half (45%) said they are thinking about selling in the next 4-6 months, likely to see what the market does over the summer and fall; just 18% said they hope to sell in the next 3 months.
A cash option is also attractive to Atlanta sellers. While 75% say they are considering selling with a realtor, 55% would also consider selling directly to a real estate company for a cash offer.
For buyers, sticking with a budget is top of mind from start to finish. Atlantans told us they are most concerned about paying above the home’s value (43%), not being able to find a home within their budget (40%), and having a mortgage with a high-interest rate (31%).
Despite low inventory in Atlanta, affordability and interest rates are also keeping demand lower, which reduces the chance of a major spike in pricing. “Right now we’re in this uncharted territory. We have high demand, but folks can’t afford the homes they want,” said Kappel. “Seller reluctance will continue to drive lower inventory while rates stay high.”
Just 28% of buyers say they have been pre-qualified for a mortgage. Atlanta Opendoor Realtor Alli Johnston advises, “Before the buying process begins, have all your finances buttoned up. Be mindful of what you can afford and try to remove emotion from decisions as much as possible.”
If you’re looking for a new place to set down roots, Opendoor can help you get started on your next journey. Visit Opendoor.com to learn more.
Top ZIP codes Methodology: Top ZIP codes are identified by analyzing data from the local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) where Opendoor Brokerage operates. ZIPs were ranked by total homes which went into contract within 90 days of listing in 2023.
*In May 2023, Opendoor surveyed 302 current and prospective (over the next 12 months) home buyers and sellers age 25 or older, with a household income of $50,000 or more, who are household real estate decision-makers, in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Dallas-Fort Worth.