Is it Cheaper to Rent or Buy in the Atlanta Market?

Following a year of rising costs and interest rates, the housing market is starting to make an upward turn. With housing prices stabilizing and average wages slowly rising, homeownership is slightly more affordable than renting in some of the largest cities in the United States.

According to the first-quarter 2023 U.S. Home Affordability Report released by ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property and real estate data, homeownership costs have decreased 30% this quarter and wages have risen 6% nationwide over the past year.

While housing prices are historically less affordable, weekly annualized wage appreciation has outpaced the annual home price changes in 76% of housing markets nationwide. The flattened curve of home values combined with the increase in the average wage has caused a rise in homeownership.

The first-quarter 2023 U.S. Home Affordability Report shows that the median single-home value of $320,000 in the first-quarter of the year is nearly the same as the $318,000 value in the fourth-quarter of 2022. ATTOM analyzed counties with a population of at least 100,000 with at least 50 single-family home sales in the first quarter of 2023 to collect data results.

Here are the top five most affordable counties:

  1. Macon County, IL
  2. Peoria County, IL
  3. St. Clair County, IL
  4. San Francisco County, CA
  5. Caddo Parish, LA

Here are the top five least affordable counties:

  1. Jackson County, MS
  2. Clayton County, GA
  3. Benton County, WA
  4. Paulding County, GA
  5. St. Lucie County, FL

What does this mean for the Atlanta housing market? While housing affordability is worse than in previous years within the metro Atlanta area, buying is still more affordable than renting! With the low annual wage of $28,574 required to afford a median-priced home in Macon, GA, the Atlanta housing market is slowly improving.

According to Point2, houses are cheaper than condos in Columbus and Macon! With single-family homes costing roughly $15,000 – $20,000 less than condos in the area, upsizing is doable. Closer to Atlanta, upsizing is less affordable, with single-family homes being 38% more expensive than the average condo.

To view the entire upsizing data set, visit

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