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MARKETS by Kathy Fettke Atlanta Suburbs: RICH with RENTERS W e’ve heard a lot about millennials pouring into to city centers as they chase after jobs, social connections, luxury apartments and condos, and the benefits of the sharing economy. But a new report shows that the biggest U.S. metros are experiencing a renter “boom” in the suburbs -- and Rent- Cafe says suburban Atlanta is at the top of that list. That’s creating new opportunities for investors looking for single-fam- ily rentals with low prices and high returns, and Atlanta is a great place to find them. Atlanta was a superhot market for the single-family investor just a few years ago, but popular neighborhoods got a little too popu- lar and prices rose. Other neighbor- hoods hadn’t recovered enough to draw interest. As the wheel turns for real estate hot spots, neighborhoods that were shunned before, are look- ing better now and many of those great locations are in the suburbs. What’s Happening in the Suburbs? The RentCafe report says it looks at Census data for a 5-year period, from 2011 through 2015. And, it found that urban centers have not gained as many renters as we’ve come to be- lieve. It says the numbers show that suburban areas gained substantially more renter households than their urban counterparts in 19 out of the 20 metros it reviewed. In Atlanta, the data shows a net gain of 52,300 suburban renter households during that time frame. That’s a 26% increase in those households. That’s a huge number of additional renters in just a 5-year-period. Atlanta’s urban area only gained 15,100 renters which reflects a 10% increase. Suburban rent growth was so strong in Atlanta, St. Louis, Riverside County California, and Boston, it was “three” times that of their more urban counterparts. RentCafe says of the 20 metros areas it studied, suburban areas gained about 700,000 new renter households in that 5-year period. City centers in those same areas gained about 600,000. In Riverside County the percentage of suburban renter growth was lower than Atlanta but the overall number of new renter house- holds was much higher, at 60,500. Just 18,500 renter households were added in urban areas. Chicago also saw sub- stantial suburban renter growth, along with Miami, and Dallas. RentCafe says the main reason for the shift is “cheaper rents”. Renters are also getting more family-friend- ly neighborhoods with garden-style apartment communities. They are also finding that schools are usually better in the suburbs, neighborhoods are quieter, and their living expenses take a smaller bite out of their paycheck. RentCafe says that an analysis of the Yardi Matrix database shows that renters save about 11% or a month’s worth of rent if they move to the sub- urbs, based on average rents in the 20 areas studied. PAGE 18 • 2017 Kathy Fettke is Co-CEO of Real Wealth Network and best selling author of Retire Rich with Rentals. She is an active real estate inves- tor, licensed real estate agent, and former mortgage broker, specializing in helping people build multi-million dollar real estate portfolios that generate passive monthly cash flow for life. With a passion for research- ing real estate market cycles, Kathy is a frequent guest expert on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, NPR, CBS MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal. She was also named among the “Top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs two years in a row. Kathy hosts two podcasts, The Real Wealth Show and Real Estate News for Investors — both top ten podcasts on iTunes with listeners in 27 different countries. Her company, Real Wealth Network, offers free resources and cutting edge education for beginning and experienced real estate investors. Kathy is passionate about teaching others how to create “real wealth,” which she defines as having both the time and the money to live life on your terms.