Despite Atlanta’s decade-long tsunami of apartment construction, which has been shown time and again to be among the largest in the nation, almost all of the newly built rental options within city limits are currently occupied. 

That’s one takeaway from a new market analysis by RentCafe, an online apartment search database that's compiled a report—“Best Cities for Finding New Apartments in 2023”—geared toward city dwellers looking to upgrade their digs in this new year. 

The good news for such people, in terms of sheer supply, is that the City of Atlanta has seen its apartment stock balloon by 39 percent since 2012. But that happened for a reason—demand. According to RentCafe’s findings, Atlanta’s newly built apartments are 95.4 percent occupied right now, with enough “prospective renters” out there who could enter the market soon and rent the remaining units. 

Those newer rentals average 912 square feet in Atlanta, and more than half of them (55.2 percent) have sprung up in what RentCafe classifies as “quality” or “desirable” neighborhoods.

(What constitutes a “quality” location? That was calculated with Yardi Matrix data, gauging multifamily properties’ maintenance status and proximity to major employment sources, shopping and entertainment, public transportation or major thoroughfares, and perks such as parks, lakes, and golf courses.)   

Based on metrics such as rent cost, “elbow room,” and availability of new pads, Atlanta ranks just fourth among Georgia cities in RentCafe’s estimation, behind Alpharetta, Duluth, and Macon, respectively. 

Alpharetta, in fact, ranked sixth in the country for finding new apartments—with a 100 percent share of its rentals in quality locations. Noted analysts: 

“This booming suburb of Atlanta is close enough to all the amenities the big city has to offer, yet far enough for renters to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. Once a small farm town, Alpharetta has evolved in the last two decades to become ‘The Tech Hub of the Southeast,’ attracting many tech professionals each year. To that extent, there are one-third more apartments in Alpharetta now than there were in 2012, all built in quality locations that are very popular with renters.”

Broadening the scope, RentCafe’s report found that rentals are generally hot commodities right now—especially in Sunbelt cities—as more renters are opting to renew leases rather than test the choppy waters of today’s homebuying market. 

The list of top 50 best places for renters seeking upgrades was dominated by Texas (12 cities), Florida (seven), and California (six).


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