Over the past few years, a younger generation has taken a dominant share in the home buyer’s demographic. These buyers, predominantly millennials in their late 20s and early 30s, are an “emerging affluent” class that comprised approximately 34 percent of the market share last year, as NBC News reports, with nearly the same percentage represented over the past four years. Despite adverse factors like high student loan debt and lower paying entry-level jobs, these emerging affluents are eventually finding their financial footing and buying homes in sought-after locations with thriving markets, such as Atlanta.
Here’s something even more surprising: Emerging affluents aren’t just buying so-called “starter” homes; suburban developers are reporting a spike in younger adult home buyers. In fact, Bloomberg recently identified a trend in which a growing number of the millennial generation are going straight for luxury homes, with one luxury builder claiming 23 percent of their buyers are under age 35 — giving even more credence to the term “emerging affluent.”
In truth, Atlanta offers a wide diversity of options for young, first-time home buyers, from urban high-rise condos to spacious suburban homes. We’ve compiled the following guide specifically to help the emerging affluent navigate the Atlanta real estate market.
Urban renaissance neighborhoods
As is the trend in many cities across the U.S., Atlanta is seeing a revitalization of many of its older urban neighborhoods. Some developers are building new, modern high-rises in these areas, while others are converting old warehouses into fresh, eclectic urban living spaces. These neighborhoods have taken on a new urban flavor with numerous marketplaces and community celebrations, and their walkability factor is being further enhanced by the development of the Atlanta BeltLine that is connecting many of them together. What’s more, home prices (while on the rise) are still relatively modest as these neighborhoods take more of the spotlight. If this urban renaissance inspires and interests you, you might want to look at Atlanta neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Little Five Points and Cabbagetown.
Historic Intown living
For those who are interested in living near the “heart of it all,” the neighborhoods surrounding Downtown and Midtown Atlanta continue to be highly popular, offering a variety of housing options ranging from luxury high-rises to stately, restored historic homes on tree-lined streets. These neighborhoods are often convenient to excellent shopping, dining and cultural attractions, with sprawling Piedmont Park offering many different opportunities for recreation and enjoying the outdoors. Price ranges here vary by type of housing but generally remain above average due to the popularity of the area. If the Atlanta Intown lifestyle appeals to you, be sure to check out neighborhoods like Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Morningside-Lenox Park and Ansley Park.
For those who prefer the suburban lifestyle, the areas north and east of Atlanta remain highly popular. Luxury apartment and condo living is available especially in some of the commercial hubs like the Perimeter Mall area, but much of this real estate consists of single-family homes in quieter neighborhoods, available in a variety of sizes and price points. Generally speaking, the further outside the Perimeter (OTP), the more home you can get for the money — although the number of affluent neighborhood hotspots is continuing to grow and expand. If you’re looking toward the suburbs, be sure to look at Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Vinings, North Druid Hills and Decatur.
The northern swath of Atlanta, broadly referred to as Buckhead, remains one of the city’s most-coveted destination to buy a home. Winding, tree-lined roads, fabulous shopping and dining, excellent schools and plenty of green space are just a few of the reasons people scramble to live here. Buckhead understandably includes some of the city’s most-affluent neighborhoods, although a few more affordable pockets remain (a knowledgeable Buckhead agent can point these out to you). Housing options include luxury condos, historic and newer single-family homes, cozy bungalows and sprawling estates. If you’re looking in this area, don’t miss Peachtree Park, Garden Hills, Chastain Park, Tuxedo Park and Brookhaven.
The skilled real estate agents at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty are particularly knowledgeable of the best Atlanta neighborhoods certain to appeal to the emerging affluent. To learn more, give us a call at 404.948.4812 for an appointment.