Remember a few years ago, in the pre-pandemic teens, when the general consensus was that millennials, by and large, were going to happily remain renters and enjoy lives of experiences, unencumbered by things like mortgages and lawn care?
That hasn’t exactly played out in the U.S. And especially not in Atlanta.
That’s according to a new analysis by apartment search database RentCafe, which finds that 52 percent of U.S. millennials—the largest generation in the nation—now own a home, having transitioned from renter to owner-majority in 2022.
In just five years, or what analysts described as “record time,” 7 million millennials bought a place to call their own from coast to coast.
In metro Atlanta, the sea change toward homeownership has been especially pronounced for millennials (generally considered the cohort born between 1981 and the late 1990s), despite skyrocketing home prices and recent market turbulence.
That could spell good things for younger homeowners of ATL in terms of personal wealth, though the path toward homeownership for even younger generations continues to steepen.
Metro Atlanta saw its number of millennial homeowners more than double in the past five years—while it logged one of the sharpest drops in millennial renters of all U.S. cities.
Back in 2017, metro Atlanta counted about 270,000 millennial homeowners. As of last year, that number had exploded to 400,000—a 129 percent increase in five years that RentCafe reps described as “spectacular.”
That percentage increase is more than any other of the top 20 largest metros in the country.
The only other city that was close, San Antonio, saw millennial homeownership swell by 127.9 percent in the past five years, per RentCafe’s findings.
Following the national trend, the majority of metro Atlanta’s millennials (60 percent) have reached the homeownership "milestone," per RentCafe. That’s still considerably lower than Baby Boomers (81 percent), who retain the highest share of metro ATL homeownership despite a 14-percent drop over the past five years.
On the apartment front, metro Atlanta logged an eye-popping 30 percent drop in millennial renters—joining Tampa, Cincinnati, and Jacksonville as major cities with the largest decreases. (So who’s renting all these new Atlanta apartments? RentCafe’s study found the number of Zoomer renters has tripled in Atlanta the past five years as that demographic now comes of age.)
Overall, Atlanta ranked as the No. 21 metro for highest rise in millennial homeownership. All cities ranked higher on that the list are considerably smaller.
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