Southern Migration

Atlanta, with its temperate weather, favorable business environment and affordability, has become a top spot for relocations. Tori Hughes of Harry Norman, Realtors has several current clients making the move from New York and California, many of which are purchasing homes on multiacre lots. “They want to be out of the congestion,” she says. “After being stuck in a 1,300-square-foot home with kids, they want to be able to breathe.” Hughes also sees clients seeking larger homes overall. “Budgets are going up. Interest rates are so low, they have more buying power,” she notes.

Andy Peters of The Peters Company, a Keller Williams Realty team, has also noticed a trend of “lifestyle moves”—relocation due to preference, rather than a job. “[Out of town] clients have a bullish attitude toward Atlanta,” he says. “They’re looking for better spaces to work. Living space is more important than bedroom space, and media rooms and pools are hot-button search criteria.” Competition for those homes is fierce. As of August, Peters says, “If no new houses hit the market, it would take 1.9 months to sell everything. And 60% of the homes are selling at or above list price.”