Many narratives have arisen during the pandemic about the permanent shifts that will change the way people live and work. Often, these are expressed as dichotomies; that people and companies must choose between two extremes. However, many of these “shifts” are built on complex, longer-term trends that offer nuanced solutions for occupiers and their employees. The Sunbelt region has emerged as a key beneficiary.
The top five markets for 2020 multifamily demand—Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Denver—accounted for 77% of positive absorption in urban markets. For Atlanta, the bulk of net absorption gains, which exceeded 12,000 units, occurred in the urban core. Atlanta was also one of the top performers for 2021 multifamily effective rent growth, and rents are expected to continue accelerating over the coming years, remaining above the national average.
Trends in corporate relocations have paralleled multifamily patterns, as Fortune 1000 firms’ headquarters shifted towards the Sunbelt and Mountain regions in the past decade (2010-2020). Between 2019 and Q1 2021, 78 large corporations announced HQ moves, of which 68 are interstate. More than half of these announcements are leaving California, and the most common destination is the Sunbelt. Georgia boasts the ninth-highest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies in the U.S., with 34 headquartered in the state.
Despite office leasing declining by 10.7% QOQ in Q1 nationally, Atlanta tracked improvement, experiencing the sixth-steepest rebound in the country. Projected job growth in Atlanta is expected to exceed growth in gateway markets through 2030, and the Metro’s low cost of living, driven by slower home price growth, will continue to attract new residents in the coming decade. For more, check out the Talent on the Move: Where People Live & Work After COVID-19 report.