Since the Great Recession, glassy towers have reshaped the skylines of Midtown, Buckhead, and parts of downtown, but relatively few of those stacked new units have been for sale. Instead, they’re apartments, catering to millennial professionals who’ve preferred renting over buying, transient businesspeople, and college students. That’s a stark contrast from Atlanta’s pre-recession building trends, when condos ruled.
“In the early 2000s, there was the boom going on, when [the market] was overinflated because of the subprime crisis and everything else,” says Ladson Haddow, managing partner of Haddow & Company, an Atlanta real estate consulting firm. “Then, the ’08 and ’09 recession happened, and [condo development] was flat. That’s largely because so many developers and banks—and buyers, frankly—got burned. For developers, it’s much easier to get an apartment project financed.”
Anecdotally, the condo market has shown signs of reactivation, signaled by projects such as the 279-unit Seven88 West Midtown. But for the most part, new condo developments have been relegated to the million-dollar luxury sector, with smaller new buildings such as the Charles (57 units) and Graydon Buckhead, which has 22 stories but just 47 homes. Notes Haddow: “The days of seeing a lot of 300-unit condominium towers going up haven’t returned.”
This article appears in our April 2021 issue.