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ATLANTA-Investors from beyond Georgia still seek opportunities among metropolitan apartment complexes based on the area’s continued strong job growth, according to a new report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. However, apartments face new competition from a growing number of single-family homes being put up for rent.

Employers are expected to add to their local payrolls for the fifth consecutive year, with 22,200 new positions forecast through 2008, according to the firm’s latest Atlanta Apartment Research Report. Those prospects are driving investor demand for local rental units, with properties selling for a median price of $64,800 per unit over the past year, up 17%.

“Investment activity will continue to moderate this year, slowed by conservative lending practices,” John Leonard, Marcus & Millichap’s regional manager in Atlanta, stated in the firm’s report. “Out-of-state buyers, especially from California, will remain present, targeting the metro for its higher initial yields and prospects for steady long-term growth.”

Approximately 3,400 new apartment units are expected to open in Metro Atlanta this year, with vacancy forecast to end the year at 8.6%, Marcus & Millichap states in its report. Asking rents are expected to increase 2.4% to $864 per month, while effective rents will advance 2% to $773 per month.

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