As Affordability Concerns Grow, New Housing Data Sheds Light on Local Market

ARC’s interactive housing data tool has received a makeover fit for an HGTV reality show. 

No walls were broken down or bathroom tile obliterated in the renovation, of course. This upgrade is all about the data. 

The Metro Atlanta Housing Strategy site’s goal remains the same: helping local officials better understand their local housing markets and evaluate strategies to increase affordable options. 

The site and associated data tool, which initially launched in 2019, now include detailed home price information for each year between 2013 and 2020.  

Where are the hottest housing markets? Where are the fewest new housing units being built? What are the trends in your local community? These questions and many more can be answered with a few clicks. 

The new data is the product of an extensive analysis conducted by ARC of hundreds of thousands of individual home sale transactions and property assessment records. The previous version looked at two years of data, 2013 and 2018,  

The data now also includes robust housing information for Forsyth County, which joined ARC in July. 

We poked around on the new data explorer tool and, with some guidance from the ARC data team, spotted some fascinating trends.   

Home prices rising fastest in low-income, core neighborhoods

The mapping tool makes it super-easy to spot areas seeing the biggest price increases, down to the Census tract level. 

By far the largest relative price increases have taken place in “Submarket 3” – rapidly changing urban neighborhoods with the region’s oldest homes. 

Consider Census Tract 61, located in southwest Atlanta near the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail. 

Home prices per square foot between 2013 and 2020 increased there by an eye-popping 658%, from $23 to $173. The 2020 figure is higher than the 11-county regional average ($150 per square foot). And this is in a neighborhood with a reported median household income of about $29,000. 

These trends raise concerns that existing lower-income residents may be displaced. And this also sheds light on the difficulty that even middle-class residents are having in finding affordable housing. 

Census tracts in orange have the fastest-growing home prices in metro Atlanta.
Census tracts in orange have the fastest-growing home prices in metro Atlanta.

Some suburban areas post slowest price growth

Prices rose at the slowest rate in “Submarket 6” – moderate to high-priced suburban areas. 

This includes parts of east and west Cobb, north Fulton, north Gwinnett, and south Cherokee (see map below). 

In these areas, home prices per square foot increased 51%, compared to 66% for the 11-county region.  

slowest home growth graph

Much more data available at your fingertips

Users can quickly explore a range of other data points, including: 

  • Home vacancy rates 
  • Housing type (single/multifamily) and year built  
  • Income and jobs 
  • Housing affordability (percent of ‘cost-burdened’ households) 

In addition, the data explorer tool enables users to drill down to individual cities and counties alongside filtered cross tabs of the submarkets with which they intersect. 

Learn more about the Metro Atlanta Housing Strategy at and stay tuned here and to ARC’s data blog, 33n, for additional explorations and deep dives into the analysis and data that underpins it. 

What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.