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The Top Areas In Georgia For Real Estate Investors

by | Nov 1, 2021 | 0 comments

There are several factors to consider when looking for the best places to invest in real estate in Georgia. The Peach State has been experiencing large job growth, population growth, and of course the massive growth of its average real estate prices. The current prices of homes are some of the most important stats to follow. Successful investors know the benefits of proper planning and research when it comes to securing a profitable deal, and we wanted to provide a resource for Georgia real estate investors to help with their business. We did the research using recent public data including Redfin, Rent Cafe, official state records, and other reputable sources to determine the hot real estate markets and the seven best places to invest in Georgia real estate.

Atlanta

It’s no surprise that the largest city in Georgia happens to be the most successful for real estate investors. Atlanta is the perfect storm for investments based on its economic boom of the last decade helping to shape this high performing real estate market. The city has seen tremendous population growth over the last decade, with an increase of 22% since 2010. Now with a population of approximately 524,000 and continuing to grow, the demand for real estate continues to rise year over year.

Atlanta has become a major innovation hub of the South and includes employers such as Delta Airlines, AT&T, Piedmont Healthcare, and other large organizations. More than 40% of the population are college graduates with degrees ranging from bachelors and up through doctorates, leading to a strong economic backbone that helps fuel these local real estate trends. The unemployment rate is hovering around 4% for the city, with a tremendous year over year employment growth of 2.5%. Most of the job growth is occurring in the construction, trade, and financial sectors which all provide above-average salaries and helps dictate the local real estate prices. Part of the local economic growth comes from the well-paying sectors in bioscience, fintech, and advanced manufacturing which has led to an increase in luxury builds and rentals.

As of August 2021, the average home sale prices in the city reached $380,000 which marks a 12% increase from the previous year and is just slightly below the 5-year-high for the area. Homes are spending an average of only 20 days on the market, which is 47% less time than the year before and highlights how active the current market is. The most desirable homes are typically selling up to 3% above asking price and are being sold only 8 days after being listed. Real estate in Atlanta can barely stay on the market, meaning fix and flip investors that can find deals in desirable locations are sure to receive a substantial offer based on their renovation.

Builders and developers have a competitive advantage compared to fix and flip investors with their ability to match market demands and ensure a premium sale price. For example, some of the top homes sold in Atlanta featured home offices, finished basements, and fenced yards. Homes with these amenities received more attention on their listings and sold above listing price more often than homes that lack these features. Homes in the city are selling for an average of $240 per square foot which is a 15% increase year over year, so making the most of the new home’s square footage by playing to the market’s amenity demand will help receive the highest possible offer.

Long-term investors looking to acquire rental property should understand how impressive Atlanta’s current rental market is looking. The city boasts a renter population of 57%, one of the most dominant renter populations in the country. As of now the average monthly rent price is $1,645 which marks a 12% increase year over year. This average rent price is above the national average, but the lower cost of living helps to balance out and become an enticing living situation for Atlanteans. Vacancy rate hovering around 7% indicates a healthy rental market that should pose no issues for finding potential tenants. Buy and hold investors seeking profitable rental property should consider Atlanta a high-performing market.

Marietta

Located less than an hour northwest of Atlanta, the city of Marietta is one of the most popular metro suburbs in the state of Georgia. With a population of 61,000 it’s one of the smaller areas on the list, but its proximity to Atlanta helps it piggyback off the area’s real estate demand which makes it an excellent investment opportunity. With Atlanta growing into an economic juggernaut of the south, the nearby metro areas like Marietta have had their local economy boom in similar fashion. The city boasts an unemployment rate of only 3.9%, far below the national rate and indicative of a strong economy with even more room to grow. Future job growth for Marietta over the next ten years is predicted at 51%, far higher than the national average of 33% which helps highlight why this area is going to be a strong Georgia real estate investment opportunity for years to come.

As of August 2021, the average home sale prices in the city reached $395,000 which marks a nearly 15% increase from the previous year. Homes are only spending an average of 12 days on the market, which is exactly 50% less time than last year and highlights how incredibly fast the current market is moving in Marietta. These stats are record highs for the area and show no signs of significant reduction, meaning this area of Georgia is an excellent opportunity for real estate investors. Since Atlanta is performing so well, it’s no surprise that this growth is spreading to nearby metro areas like Marietta.

Like Atlanta, there’s an inventory shortage that is helping to boost the average home sale price but is making it more difficult for fix and flip investors to obtain property. This is one of the unique advantages that new construction investors have, as they’re able to literally fill the inventory gaps and design their project in a way that matches local trends. Homes in Marietta are selling for $168 per square foot which is a nearly 22% increase year over year. Homes with an office, finished basement, and outdoor deck are seeing more views for their listings and offers above asking price more often than homes lacking these amenities. Developing homes in Marietta to match the buyer demand is a great way for investors to profit off new construction projects.

Marietta is experiencing a great rental market as well, making it an excellent choice for BRRRR investors. The average monthly rent in the city reached $1,421 which marks a 16% year over year increase and is below the national average, making it an affordable option for the Atlanta metro area. Approximately 43% of the population rents versus owns, and with a rental vacancy rate hovering around 7% it wouldn’t be hard to find tenants to fill your rental property. With Georgia and specifically the area around Atlanta surging in economic and population growth, rental markets like Marietta are benefitting real estate investors.

Roswell

Further north of Atlanta and Marietta but still part of the local metro area comes Roswell, another great city for real estate investors. The population of 94,000 puts it in the top ten most populated cities in Georgia and, like other parts of the greater Atlanta metro area, is experiencing large population and economic growth that hasn’t slowed down for close to a decade. Roswell’s local economy is booming with an unemployment rate around 2.6%, far below the national average and indicative of an extremely healthy job market. Strong local economies translate to strong real estate markets, which is how investors can maximize profits by understanding these market nuances.

The average home sale price in the city reached $525,000, marking a nearly 19% increase year over year. Homes are spending an average of only 12 days on market, which is a staggering 59% less time than the previous year and highlights how active the current market is. Demand for housing in Roswell is continuing to increase, making it a lucrative investment opportunity for fix and flips as well as new construction projects. With constant population and economic growth, the potential final sale price for homes continues to rise with it and is creating an opportunity for real estate investors.

As always in these growing markets that are seeing high demand with low housing inventory, new construction is reigning supreme. Builders and developers that can match market demand and design their projects to fit buyer’s trends are able to receive the maximum ROI on an investment. Right now, homes in Roswell are selling for $191 per square foot, which is a 20% increase from the previous year. Homes that feature amenities such as home office, outdoor pool, and working fireplace are receiving more attention and offers than properties lacking these features.

The rental market in Roswell is a strong investment opportunity given its convenient location and affordable rent. The average monthly rent is currently $1,473 which marks a 14% year over year increase but remains under the national average rent price. Compared to the other two cities the renter population is much lower, with only 30% of the city’s population renting versus owning. However, the tenant supply is consistent thanks to the large population in the Atlanta metro suburb and its cost efficiency compared to living directly in Atlanta. With consistent rent increases and a high overall demand, BRRRR investors should look to Roswell for potential rental property.

Augusta

Moving away from the Atlanta metro area and traveling to the eastern border of the state comes the city of Augusta. This is the second largest city in Georgia with a population of approximately 199,000 and it shares a border with South Carolina, making it an accessible and desirable city for both states. Most of the job growth is in fields including manufacturing, trade & retail, education, and general business services which makes this a more middle-class, blue-collar city. This working-class population means lower prices overall, which could benefit fix and flip investors looking for Georgia towns that have lower barrier to entry costs while still providing worthwhile ROI.

As of August 2021, the average home sale prices for the area reached $146,000 which marks a nearly 20% increase from the previous year and a five-year-high for the suburb. Homes are spending an average of only 12 days on market, which is 50% less than the year before and an impressive stat for real estate investors to follow. Fast moving markets are indicative of high demand, and that peak level of demand is how real estate investors can leverage their opportunities to maximize profits. Investors can utilize hard money loans to acquire Augusta property, rehab it to increase the value, and ultimately sell it for much more than the initial cost.

Currently Augusta homes are selling for an average of $71 per square foot, which is a 21% increase from the previous year. Builders have an advantage over fix and flip investors by avoiding having to bid on potential properties, as well as designing their project to match local trends to receive the highest possible final price. For example, homes in Augusta that have a home office, finished basement, and fenced yard are receiving more attention and more offers above asking price than homes lacking these features. These kinds of amenities are indicative of family needs, so building homes that best fit middle-class families will increase demand on your project.

The Augusta rental market is an incredibly affordable one for tenants, but its recent growth is making it a nice investment opportunity. The average monthly rent is $998, which marks a 13% increase year over year. With a vacancy rate hovering around 10%, which is close to the national average, there’s no shortage of potential tenants to fill rental property. Rental investors that utilize the BRRRR strategy should note this area’s growth as it continues to rapidly expand and raise its average rent, delivering strong returns for investors.

Athens

Northeast of Atlanta and far removed from its metro area is Athens, one of the ten biggest cities in Georgia. Athens has been experiencing comparable growth to other major cities in the state, with an approximate population of 129,000 that’s grown about 11% since 2010. The unemployment rate for the city is at 3.9%, far below the national average, and the area has an expected job growth rate of 49% which is far beyond the national average. These stats are important for real estate investors to understand, especially buy and hold investors looking to acquire rental property in areas that will deliver long term results.

The average home sale price in Athens reached $260,000 which is a 22% increase from the previous year and a five-year-high for the city. Homes are spending an average of only 8 days on the market, with especially hot homes selling in only 4 days at 5% above asking price! Low inventory and high demand are dictating the pace of this real estate market, and such a frenzied pace benefits fix and flip investors that know how to finish projects quickly and leverage their capital to begin their next projects as soon as possible.

Currently homes are selling for $147 per square foot, which is 20% more than the previous year. Homes that feature an outdoor deck, finished basement, and home office are receiving higher offers and more viewings than homes lacking these features, so builders can design their project to match the buyer trends and maximize their final sale price.

With Athens being one of the fastest growing areas in all of Georgia, investors looking for rental property should seriously consider this market. The average monthly rent in Athens is currently $1,150, which is an 8% increase year over year. With a vacancy rate hovering between 6 and 7%, its relatively easy to maintain tenants in desirable rental property throughout Athens thanks to 48% of the area’s population renting versus owning. It’s important to note that Athens is a major college town, which helps contribute to the renter population by providing a steady stream of student tenants to the area.

Savannah

On the eastern coast of the Peach State comes our first coastal city on the list, which helps contribute to the strong real estate market. Savannah is in the top five most populated Georgia cities with a population of 141,000 and has risen by nearly 5% since 2010, showing steady growth compared to most populated cities but a little slow compared to other Georgia cities on this list.

The average home sale prices for the area reached $264,900 which is an 8% year over year increase and slightly below the five-year-high for the area. 483 homes sold last month which marks a 5% increase from the previous year, and homes are spending an average of 38 days on market which represents 40% less time on market than last year. While these growth numbers don’t seem as impressive as some of the other cities on the list, it’s because the Savannah real estate market has already been one of the best in Georgia for some time, so there weren’t large improvements to be made.

Currently the homes in Savannah are selling for $155 per square foot which is a 13% increase from the previous year. Homes that feature an outdoor pool, attached deck, and finished basement are seeing more offers and views than homes lacking these features, so builders and developers could include these in their plans to achieve the highest potential return.

The rental market in Savannah has been strong for a decade but continues to steadily climb thanks to the state’s recent growth. The average monthly rent is currently $1,261 which marks an 11% increase year over year. 43% of Savannah’s population rents versus owns, and the gradual population growth continues to bring in new potential tenants that help fuel this rental market. The city boasts a vacancy rate hovering between 9 and 10, typically because some properties in the area are being used as short-term rentals and classified as vacant, so the realistic vacancy rate is lower than stated. BRRRR investors should consider Savannah for their next rental portfolio, especially if they’re interested in shorter term rentals.

Sandy Springs

Our final investment spot is sandwiched between Atlanta and Roswell, with more direct access to water and greenery. The town of Sandy Springs has a population of 110,000 and with its location inside the greater Atlanta metro area is seeing similar levels of population and economic growth. By piggybacking off the success of nearby cities and having more access to nature, this Sandy Springs is bringing in well-paid home buyers and potential renters that are looking for less of a city vibe for their day-to-day living.

As of August 2021, the average home sale prices for the area reached $543,000 which marks a 14% increase year over year and signals a 5-year-high for the town. Homes are spending an average of only 17 days on market, which represents a nearly 63% drop from the previous year and emphasizes how active the market currently is. While it is tough to find distressed property in this area and home sale prices are high for the state, fix and flip investors could utilize hard money loans to cover the capital needed to purchase and rehab a property, then pay off the loan with the profits while still maintaining a healthy return on their investment.

Sandy Springs homes are selling for $200 per square foot which represents a 19% increase from the year before. The homes featuring offices, outdoor pools, and attached decks are receiving more views and more offers than homes lacking these features, meaning investors should focus on these types of amenities to achieve the highest possible offer. Builders and developers that can source their own materials and design their project to match buyer trends in the area can maximize their sale offer and walk away with a sizable profit.

The rental market in Sandy Springs is also booming, especially since its located so closely to major employment hubs like Atlanta and Roswell. Currently the average monthly rent for the town is $1,533 which marks a 6% increase year over year. 46% of the population rents, and with the local area’s constant growth over the last ten years, its safe to say that there will be no shortage of potential tenants in Sandy Springs.

Final Thoughts

The Georgia real estate market has become one of the best performing states in the last ten years, and the recent real estate boom has helped push this state into one of the best for real estate investors. Whether you’re looking to hold rental property in Atlanta or perform fix and flips in Savannah, there’s a variety of viable Georgia real estate investing options throughout the Peach State. With the economic and population growth fueling the state’s real estate boom, investors can expect Georgia to be a top performing state for quite some time. If you’re a real estate investor looking to scale your business utilizing hard money loans in Georgia, then Asset Based Lending is ready to help. Contact us today to be approved for the best hard money loans Georgia has to offer.

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