In case you haven’t noticed, the Atlanta rental home market is booming. Apartment vacancies are at their lowest levels since 2001. Private-owned homes and condos, which used to sit on the market for months, are now able to quickly locate a new tenant within a few weeks, if not days. You’ve likely witnessed this if you’re calling around to multiple places, trying to find a new home, only to find that the beautiful property you saw on Craigslist has already been leased.
In the immediate metro area, 1,282 homes came on the market last month, being listed as rental homes by private homeowners and property management companies. 943 homes were leased. That’s over 70% of the inventory.
Because of the increased demand, most apartment complexes and landlords are raising prices and getting rid of move-in specials because they no longer need them in order to attract good tenants.
Due to the rise in foreclosures and the increased difficulty in getting approved for a mortgage rental property has been the star ofAtlanta’s real-estate market for over a year. When it comes time to move, people only have two options: either buy a home, or rent one. With less people qualifying for mortgage loans, and more people losing homes to foreclosure, this has created a huge demand for rental property in the Atlanta area.
Even with the increase in prices,Atlanta’s average rental rates are still well below the national average compared to other cities. New York City continues to have the highest average rent in the country, at $2,876 a month.
What does this mean for you in 2012:
- If you intend to rent a home in 2012, expect to pay more for the most desirable properties due to the increased demand. Property owners are less likely to be willing to negotiate a cheaper price for you when they have lots of people showing interest in a property.
- Once you locate a home you like, be prepared to move forward with the application process as soon as possible. If you’re the type of person who procrastinates and needs several days to make a final decision, chances are it’ll be rented by someone else once you finally make up your mind. The best properties are usually the first to be rented.
- Have your paperwork together. Nearly all landlords and apartment complexes will ask to see copies of your most recent check stubs, proof of residence, and copies of photo ID’s. Don’t take a chance of losing the perfect home because you can’t find your proof of income or the phone number for your most recent landlord.
- Know what’s on your credit report. With the increase in demand for rental homes, landlords can afford to be more selective in choosing tenants. If several people submit an application on the same property, usually the one with the best credit, rental, and financial background will be the one approved. If you don’t have the best credit history, communicate that up front, and be honest about it. Not everyone is strict when it comes to credit, but if you don’t even take the time to ask, you risk losing the entire application fee. When in doubt, ask for the credit requirements up front.