Atlanta Metro's Housing Market

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, right in the heart of Georgia. However, the Atlanta metropolitan area spans nine counties: Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Henry. Together, they make up nearly half of the state’s 4 million housing units.

But why move to the Atlanta metropolitan area? Well, besides the fantastic universities, mountains, marshes, forests, job opportunities and local scene: it’s got a much younger housing market than the Miami metropolitan area.

If you’ve read about the past of asbestos in the US, or have heard of the lack of building codes followed in homes built before 2002, then you’re going to want to pay close attention to the following numbers.

Before we start comparing metropolitan areas, keep in mind that they each have their pros and cons, but we’ll be focusing on metropolitan areas with newer housing constructions in this article, which is Atlanta metro’s strong point.

Of the 1.7 million housing units in the Atlanta metropolitan area, 50.3% are structures that are either 30 years old or younger. That means that these structures have been built using updated codes that don’t include asbestos (such as popcorn ceilings, which can contain small amounts of the mineral fiber).

Since about 30 million of the 149 million homes in the US still contain asbestos due to having been constructed during a time when the material was still used in housing, it’s important to be aware of how young the market you’re buying in actually is.

When compared to the Atlanta metropolitan area, the Miami metropolitan area has more housing units, with 2,462,496 units in total. However, if you look at the second pie chart, only about 30.9% of homes were constructed thirty years ago or earlier.

Newer Constructions in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area

The pie charts above can be a bit misleading when it comes to identifying the counties that have the highest amount of new constructions. That’s because some counties in the Atlanta metro area are actually quite small, so they only take up a small portion of the chart. But in reality, some of the smaller counties are more residential areas, and they have a larger percentage on average, when it comes to new construction.

To give you a better idea of new constructions per county, here’s a breakdown of the Atlanta metro area:

While South Florida has more housing units, homes are older on average. That means that many will soon be due for their four point inspections, if it hasn’t happened already. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, just something to be mindful of as a home buyer. A good thing to note about homes in Miami is that it’s much less likely that asbestos was used in these older homes. That’s because asbestos was used for insulation in draftier parts of homes. Miami is warm year round, and many people live in condos rather than single family homes.

Something that instantly caught my attention was how Coweta and Henry counties have a high percentage of newer housing constructions. 63.2% of Coweta county’s homes have been built between 1990 and now. And since 2010, about 20,000 people have moved to Coweta county, increasing the county’s population from 127,317 to 148,509—that's a 14.2% increase.

Meanwhile, 75.2% of Henry county’s homes have been built between 1990 and now. Since 2010, over 30,000 people have moved to Henry county, bumping up the population from 203,922 to 234,561—that’s a 13% population increase. Clearly, there’s something about these counties that’s drawing people to them.

Tax Credits to Relocate Workers

I’ve read about several tax credits that will help relocate workers to Henry county so that younger families settle down in the area. But here’s the thing, these tax credits only apply to businesses that plan on exporting their products outside the state of Georgia, so keep that in mind as you weigh your options. A reminder too, that these tax incentives vary by county, and they tend to be applied only to less developed counties like Henry.

Single Family Home Heaven

The last thing I’ll say is that the Atlanta metropolitan area is the perfect place to move to if you want to live out your white picket fence dreams. While Georgia has a smaller housing market, single family housing is the norm here. Which is a good thing, seeing as how many people have wanted to live in single family homes since the start of the pandemic. People are seeing the need to have their homes simultaneously function as offices, gyms, and daycares, and they want plenty of room to do it.

In fact, the Atlanta metropolitan area has about 21.4% more single family homes when compared to the Miami metropolitan area. That means that while you can choose to dip your toes in the hustle and bustle of Atlanta’s city life, you also have the option of buying a home in a quieter neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. By having access to both the city and the suburbs, you'll live in a comfortably quiet neighborhood without sacrificing the chance of having an active nightlife.