Last month saw the single largest monthly increase in housing prices ever recorded. They’ve been going up significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationwide, the average home would cost about $35 thousand more today than on New Year’s Day this year.
To track all that, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has a new tool. It’s called the Home Ownership Affordability Monitor, or HOAM. It shows whether housing is considered “affordable” at the national, regional, metro and even county level.
Overall, the broader metro Atlanta area is considered affordable — until potential buyers zoom in. As of April 2021, the median home price across metro Atlanta is $293,750, with median household income listed as $72, 897. In Fulton County, the median home price is closer to $400 thousand.
Domonic Purviance is a subject matter expert at the Atlanta Fed. He told WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress the tool lays out the data for potential Atlanta homeowners in a transparent, more accessible way. But, he said, north Fulton is distinctly different than the city of Atlanta, which is distinctly different from south Fulton.
He told Burress potential homeowners would be hard-pressed to find a home for less than $400 thousand in core areas of Atlanta near Midtown, the BeltLine, Buckhead and Alpharetta.
“So when you add the county altogether, it gives sort of a view that the county is affordable,” Purviance said.
“But when you go submarket by submarket, even if you make the median income for the county, it’s a little bit difficult to find a home you can actually afford.”
Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.