Named the most expensive housing market in the United States by researchers at Florida Atlantic University earlier this year, Atlanta has approved fewer private housing units in 2023 when compared to numbers from 12 months ago, a decline that may further contribute to the city’s impending housing shortage.
After witnessing highs reminiscent of pre-pandemic levels last summer, the number of privately-owned housing structure units approved by permit in metro Atlanta has gradually declined since the beginning of the year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The number of approved units in the greater Atlanta area reached 3,946 in January, after seeing numbers surpassing the 4,000-unit benchmark for four months of last year. The metro area closed out 2022 with 3,294 private housing units approved, representing an increase of approximately 600 units over the course of a month.
Approved units have since declined each month of 2023, dropping to 3,315 in February, 3,006 in March and to 2,886 in April.
Nationally, approximately 1.4 million private housing units were approved in December of 2022, and numbers have fluctuated around this total every month since.
Soaring mortgage rates are also complicating home searches for interested buyers in today’s market, with rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages standing at 6.67% for the week ending June 22, per Freddie Mac.
However, the numbers of completed homes and homes under construction have remained steady over the past year, both regionally and nationally, despite rising construction costs affecting the timeline of new projects.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, completed private housing units approached a 12-month high last month, reaching approximately 1.52 million units. The number of privately-owned units under construction across the U.S. has hovered around 1.7 million since May of last year, measuring at 1.69 million units last month.
In the South specifically, homes under construction reached a new high last month, surpassing the 800,000-unit benchmark for the first time. The region saw approximately 852,000 units completed in the same month.
The decline in approved units may affect the progress of metro Atlanta’s new residential projects in the future.