Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

#4 Fastest Growing U.S. Market for 2007 Population: July 1, 2000: 4,281,957 July 1, 2006: 5,138,223 Percent change: 20.00 percent * Population statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau …

#4 Fastest Growing U.S. Market for 2007

Population:

July 1, 2000: 4,281,957
July 1, 2006: 5,138,223
Percent change: 20.00 percent
* Population statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

Jobs:

2000: 2,289,700
2006: 2,398,300
Percent change: 4.74 percent
* Job statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Table of Contents
The Top 10 Fastest Growing Markets in America
1.Las Vegas, Nevada
2.Phoenix, Arizona
3.Riverside, California
4.Atlanta, Georgia
5.Orlando, Florida
6.Austin, Texas
7.Charlotte, North Carolina
8.Houston, Texas
9.Dallas, Texas
10.Sacramento, California

Analysis:

Atlanta grew by 6.34 percent from 2000 to 2006; most of the MSA’s growth took place outside of the city proper, in the suburban sprawl areas. Atlanta’s ability to sprawl makes it possible to continue building affordable new construction on the periphery of its suburbs, and this affordable new construction is attractive for young families as well as retirees seeking good weather and affordable living (see our article Atlanta Lights Up).

Because of the “Young and Restless” study by Joe Cortright of Impresa Consulting and Carol Coletta of Coletta & Company, the city of Atlanta was well publicized for its growth in the crucial 25 to 34-year-old age group from 1990 to 2000. However, that population declined from 2000 to 2006, and the 20 to 24-year-old age group declined as well.┬áBut the city saw large growth in the 55 to 64-year-old age group, as baby boomers aged and the area attracted retirees.

The 25 to 34-year-old age group declined in counties nearest to the downtown Atlanta area, including Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb and Clayton Counties. However, that population experienced dramatic double digit growth in outlying counties such as Gwinnett, Forsyth, Hall, Cherokee, Bartow, Paulding, Carroll, Douglas, Coweta, Fayette and Henry. Rather than leaving the area entirely, people in the 25 to 34-year-old age group are moving toward the areas of suburban sprawl.

Most of the job growth within the MSA was concentrated in the years 2003 to 2006.

The real estate boom has brought major job growth to Atlanta’s construction industry. Within the city of Atlanta, job growth from 2000 to 2006 was particularly strong in construction, which had 35.58 percent growth, and in arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation, and food services, which had 38.58 percent growth. Atlanta also saw double digit growth in retail trade; transportation and warehousing, and utilities; finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing; professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services; educational services, and health care, and social assistance; and public administration.

Like the rest of the nation, Atlanta has experienced a housing market slowdown. Single family building permits in the MSA declined by 39 percent from August 2006 to August 2007, and multi-family permits dropped by 5 percent, for an overall drop of 32 percent in comparison to the nation’s 24 percent decline, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

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