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Georgia’s Top 10 Cities for Real Estate Investment

The state of Georgia is well known for its wide diversity of landscapes. From the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vast plains, to the beaches by the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia has it all. There is an abundance of trees, lakes, and flowers in the state, making even mundane drives enjoyable.

The weather in the Peach State is generally warm and favorable throughout the year. This means that, unlike northern states, shoveling snow and scraping ice off your car won’t be likely.

Beyond the urban hubs, there are vast farmlands that produce a multitude of fresh fruit and vegetables. This may be the reason that food tends to taste just slightly better in the state of Georgia.

The population is another thing worth writing about. Southern hospitality isn’t just a rumor and the locals tend to be warm, welcoming, and friendly. Georgia claims to be home of the kindest residents you can find in the United States.

Georgia & Employment

The great state is home to Atlanta, which is a known hub of employment as well as a center of tech. The capital is home to CNN, Coca-Cola’s global Headquarters, & the Braves. In the tech scene, Mailchimp, NCR, BAKKT, and Convoy have set roots in the city.

In total, the Peach State is home to over 15 Fortune 500 companies, so getting a job should never be an issue.

Honorable Mention – Atlanta

Downtown Atlanta
Source: Wikipedia

The State Capital of Atlanta has a ton to offer. Beyond being the backdrop to the popular TV show the Walking Dead, it is home to many different museums, historical sights, zoos, and parks. In addition to the above, there is also the Ponce City Market, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and the College Football Hall of Fame. The nightlife in Atlanta is one of the finest a person can experience in the US. There is a plethora of wineries, bars, theaters, and comedy clubs for every grownup to enjoy.

The population growth within the city has been a rapid one and is listed as 25% since the 2000 census. Atlanta is growing at a rate of 1.65% per year. It is the 37th largest city in the United States and is outpacing many other larger cities. Housing prices in Atlanta are also on the rise and have increased by 18% in the past year alone.

10 – Woodstock

Downtown-Woodstock-Night
Source Wikipedia

Not to be confused with the town in New York that hosts the famous music festival, there is also a Woodstock in Georgia. It is a suburban municipality roughly half an hour north of the state capital, Atlanta. Woodstock was previously listed by Forbes in 2007 as the tenth fastest-growing suburb in the US and shows no signs of slowing down.

Woodstock is outpacing Atlanta’s growth with a 2.32% annual growth rate. The suburb’s population has grown by over 48% since the 2010 census. The rate of homeownership is rather high with 64% of the population owning their household. The population is educated, higher earning and includes many young families.

9 – Port Wentworth

Just 8 miles northeast of Savannah on the banks of the Savannah river sits the city of Port Wentworth. The city is home to a handful of large companies including Imperial Sugar, Gulfstream, and an Amazon Distribution Center. The Savannah International Airport and Georgia Tech Savannah University are also a stone’s throw away.

As a growing center of employment, housing prices and the number of residents have increased as well. Port Wentworth is growing at a dizzying rate of 9.45% per year and has increased by 142% since 2010 bringing its population to 13,000 residents. Housing has increased by 24% since 2021 and now costs $217,600 on average. Rent is listed as $1300 on average. Port Wentworth can be appealing to investors as rent vs investment seems high and the city is still growing.

8 – Jefferson

Between the cities of Atlanta and Athens sits the city of Jefferson, Georgia. The city is crisscrossed by many lakes and creeks which contribute to its natural beauty. Jefferson is home to a handful of historic sights, museums, and buildings related to the Civil War. It is mostly a quiet suburban municipality, with many commuting daily to Atlanta or Athens.

Jefferson is growing at a rapid rate with annual growth listed at 2.53%. The population has grown by 37% since the 2010 census, bringing its population up to 12,995 residents. The rate of homeownership is rather high at 68% which could be an opportunity for buy-to-rent investors. Property evaluation has increased by 33% in the past year, bringing housing costs to $335,500 on average. Average rent fees are rather low however and are listed as $750 per month.

7 – McDonough

McDonough, Georgia Courthouse
Source: Wikipedia

Just 30 miles southeast of Atlanta sits the city of McDonough, Georgia. The city has been prominently featured in films and TV in the past due to its historic buildings. It served as the backdrop to Smokey and the Bandit, the 1989 film Glory, and more recently, A Madea Christmas. There are several lakes and a few creeks, making McDonough a good spot for fishing aficionados.

McDonough’s population is rather young with a median age of 32, which suggests plenty of young families. The city is growing at a pace of 3.54% per annum and has increased by 35% since the 2010 census. Residential property prices have increased by 35% since 2021 making the average home’s value to $321,157. Average rent has been listed as $1,137 per month. The relative low rent may be the reason for low homeownership which is listed at 45%.

6 – Chamblee

Chamblee is part of the greater Atlanta area and roughly 15 miles, or a 20-minute drive from Atlanta’s downtown area. Chamblee is referred to as Atlanta’s Chinatown. As such it boasts a large community of residents originally from Asia and has a Chinatown Mall which is considered Atlanta’s center for Chinese culture. The city is also home to Mercer University and a CDC center.

The population of Chamblee has increased by 226% since the 2010 census, bringing the number of residents to 32,000. Annually the city is growing at a pace of 2.05%. The rate of homeownership is rather low and is listed at 37%. This may be part of the reason that housing prices have increased by just 11% since 2021 bringing the average homes value to $425,700. Rent seems affordable and is listed at $1,292 per month.

Average Price Increases Georgia 1
Source: Zillow

5 – Villa Rica

30 miles west of Atlanta is the city of Villa Rica. The city is home to many historic buildings, including Wicks Tavern which was built in 1830. As such, the city has more than a few museums dedicated to its history. Another point of interest is the Mirror Lake Golf Club, a local airport, and its parks. It’s close proximity to Atlanta seems to suggest that many of the residents commute to the larger city on a daily basis.

Villa Rica’s population has grown by 26% since the 2010 census at a rate of 3% per year. The number of residents has grown from 4000 in 2000 to its current population of 17,621 residents. Housing prices have risen by 30% in the past year alone bringing pricing to $283,000 on average. Rent seems to average at $1,100 per month.

4 – Canton

Canton is the county seat of Cherokee County and a city roughly 40 miles north of downtown Atlanta. The city is split from north to south by the Etowah River and has a few large lakes in the area. The scenic Blue Ridge Mountains are also in close proximity as well as the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Besides natural beauty, the city also has breweries where residents relax after a day’s work and farm-to-table restaurants.

The city is growing at a rate of 3.82% per year and 345% since the 2000 census. Its population has grown from 7,700 residents in the year 2000 to 34,300 residents currently. Housing prices have also increased quite a bit and have increased by 28% since 2021. Currently, home prices are listed as $434,000 on average and rent is listed at $1,141 per month.

3 – Pooler

Neighboring Port Wentworth to the southeast is the city of Pooler. It is also a brief 10 miles away or a 15-minute drive from downtown Savannah and not too far from the Atlantic Ocean’s beaches. The city is also home to the Surf Lagoon Waterpark, a golf club, and a few museums. The municipality is a suburban city with the majority of the houses being single-family houses built in a southern style.

Like other cities on the list, Pooler encountered some pretty major growth in recent years. It has grown by more than 60% since the 2010 census bringing the number of residents to 30,000. The rate of homeownership is a bit above average, with 59% of the population owning their home. Housing prices have increased by 23% since 2021 and costs are listed as $284,000 on average. Rent is listed as $1,250 per month on average. Seeing that property is relatively affordable, and that homeownership rates & average rent is high, Pooler could be a unique opportunity for investors.

2 – Holly Springs

Between Canton to the north and Woodstock to the south sits the small city of Holly Springs. The city is a brief 30-minute drive to downtown Atlanta. The city hosts an Aquatic Center which offers swimming pools to local residents. In addition to that, it is a great spot for those that enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and picnics with the Olde Rope Mill Park nearby. For those seeking more excitement, Atlanta is right around the corner.

Most of Holly Springs residents are highly educated and the percentage of degree holders is high. This may be the reason why average earnings are a bit higher than other parts of Georgia and homeownership is at 76%. The population has increased by 150% since the 2010 census & the city is home to 23,000 residents currently. Housing prices have risen by 29% since 2021 and the average residence costs $377,000 as per Zillow. Rent is listed as just below $1,300 per month.

1 – Braselton

43 miles northeast of Atlanta is the town of Braselton. The city is home to a few distribution centers including FedEx, Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, and Petco. There is also the Chateau Elan Winery and Golf Club. There is also the Road Atlanta race track which features car and motorcycle racing just north of the town.

Braselton has been growing at an explosive rate of 8.65% per year and 126% since the 2010 census. The small municipality is home to 17,029 residents in 2022. The wide majority of the population, listed as 87% are homeowners, which should be interesting for real estate investors. Housing has increased by 32% since 2021 and now averages at $407,000. Rent is listed as 1,250 per month on average.

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Average Price Increases Georgia 2

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