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Understand a credit score to buyour credit score is a little three-digit number that has a big impact. It can determine whether or not you are able to purchase a the house of luxury apartment of your dreams, or car or get a credit card or even a job. It not only determines your eligibility for major purchases, but also sets the favorability of your lending terms. The better your score, the lower interest rates you may receive on things like auto loans or home mortgages.

Scores typically range from 300 to 850, and the higher your score, the better. Your scores come from the credit reporting agencies, and there are three major ones (Equifax, Transunion and Experian). They receive information from your lenders and compile that information into your

credit report. Your score is a numerical representation of that information and lets lenders know how much of a risk an individual may be when it comes to lending; i.e., what is the chance that you will pay your bills. You can see what it is in your credit report for free — everyone is entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit agencies each year, so you can check your credit report three times per year. When you do, you can also view your credit score for an additional small fee. Read More→

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Multifamily Production IndexIn the Multifamily Production Index (MPI) released yesterday by the

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the index saw its fifth straight quarter with a reading over 50 at 52.

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. Any number over 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.

The MPI provides a composite measure of three key elements of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale” units or condominiums.

In the first quarter of 2013, the MPI component tracking builder and developer perceptions of market-rate rental properties dropped four points to 61, but has been above 60 for seven consecutive quarters—the longest sustained period of strength since the inception of the index in 2003. For-sale units dipped four points to 42, while low-rent units rose two points to 55.

“The apartment sector overall has largely recovered since the downturn, so we have now reached a level of development that is close to equilibrium and can continue at this pace,” said W. Dean Henry, CEO of Legacy Partners Residential in Foster City, Calif., and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board. “With that said, there are still certain markets around the country that have room to grow.”

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, rose seven points to 38. With the MVI, lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies. After peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009, the MVI improved consistently through 2010 and has been at a fairly moderate level throughout 2011 and 2012.

Historically, the MPI and MVI have performed well as leading indicators of U.S. Census figures for multifamily starts and vacancy rates, providing information on likely movement in the Census figures one to three quarters in advance.

“The multifamily market has recovered substantially since the end of 2010, and is well on its way to reaching a sustainable level,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, there are still issues facing builders and developers that could have an impact on future production, such as a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building materials.”

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Atlanta multifamily housingDuring a press conference at the 2013 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

International Builders’ Show (IBS), panelists maintained the position that the multifamily housing sector has helped lead the recovery of the overall housing market and they confirmed that it will continue to do so over the course of the next few years. The sector, which has recovered substantially since 2010, is now almost 70 percent of the way back to a sustainable level.

“Last year was a banner year for the multifamily market, and our baseline forecast calls for further steady growth in the rate of multifamily production,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “We are forecasting construction of 299,000 new multifamily residences in 2013. While this is an improvement from just a few years ago, it is still well below the 350,000 units that are required to keep supply and demand in balance.”

While many are predicting a continued increase in multifamily production, developers see several barriers to a full recovery. “A lack of capital is restraining the ability of developers in many markets across the country from being able to build apartment communities for residents of all income levels,” said Michael Costa, president and CEO of Highridge Costa Housing Partner LLC in Gardena, Calif. “Additionally, we are being faced with increases in the cost of building materials and construction labor, which makes it infeasible to build in certain circumstances.”

However, there is still room for optimism. “The market continues to improve as new household formations generate demand, especially in the market-rate rental segment,” said Lance Swank, president of The Sterling Group in Mishawaka, Ind. “There is also a change in attitude toward renting–people like the flexibility it gives and the option to be able to easily move to another city or state for a job opportunity.”

For more information on NAHB, visit

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Multifamily Housing IndexesThe most recent Multifamily Production Index (MPI) released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) remained steady at an index level of 52, making this the third straight quarter with a reading above 50.

The MPI measures developer and building sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. Any number over 50 indicates positive conditions. The index itself is a combined measurement of the market’s three key elements: construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for -sale” units.

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI) dropped 3 points this quarter to 33. The MVI measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, and lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies. This index has been steadily declining since 2010.

“The multifamily market has recovered substantially since the end of 2010, and now stands at about 70 percent of the way back to a sustainable level. Our baseline forecast calls for further steady growth in the rate of multifamily production,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, there are reasons for concern, especially at the affordable end of the rental apartment market, where builder confidence dropped dramatically in the third quarter. That was likely due to a specific provision of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit set to expire at the end of the year. The prospect of dealing with this is making lower-rent projects difficult to underwrite. Ongoing deficit-reduction negotiations in Congress need to address this issue, or a serious shortage of affordable rental housing may develop.”

For more information on both indexes, visit For more information about the

National Association of Home Builders, visit their website.

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WaterSense for ApartmentsResidents of

Atlanta luxury apartments will be pleased to find out that the new standards released last week for the EPA’s WaterSense label now allow individual apartments and condominiums to be eligible for the designation.

In addition to adding these building categories to the label, several updates were made to the standards for new homes. The new revisions take into account the wider availability of WaterSense labeled products, an increase in multi-family buildings and increased use of the Water Budget Tool. All of these changes will come into effect for buildings labeled after the start of the new year.

Specifications for multi-family housing include:

  • Must meet all new home specification prerequisites
  • Must be three stories or less in size or be of any height so long as all the units have separate heating, cooling and hot water systems
  • Common laundry facilities must meet new home specifications
  • Each unit must be metered or capable of tracking water use information, which should be made available to the individual resident

The new designation guidelines recognize the importance of multi-family housing in today’s society, and will allow for apartment and condo residents to contribute to creating a more earth-friendly society.

For more information on the new regulations, visit the EPA

WaterSense website.

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Atlanta luxury apartmentsLooking for upscale apartment living in the heart of the Peach State? Atlanta rental dwellers have plenty of new choices:

  • Circle Terminus:

    Crescent Resources LLC has preliminary plans for a nearly 360-unit luxury apartment project at Terminus, a mixed-use area at Piedmont and Peachtree Roads in Buckhead. The property would include environmentally conscious design features.

  • The Somerest: This is a 228-unit project being planned by

    Perennial Properties for the Atlanta BeltLine. These four and five-story luxury apartment communities will be located at Somerest Terrace and North Avenue with easy access to Fourth Ward Park, Ponce City Market and Midtown.

  • SkyHouse Midtown and 100th Street:

    SkyHouse Midtown is a 23-story, 320-unit high rise project in Midtown, while 100 Street will be a similarly sized building to be completed by 2014. Both high rises from the Novare Group and Batson-Cook Development Co. are Energy Star rated with high-end finishes and floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

  • The Reserve at Collier Hills:

    Atlantic Partners Inc. is redeveloping the former Georgian Hills Apartments into a new 288-unit project with four-story apartments, townhomes and single-family homes. Located on Collier Road close to Howell Mill, the buildings would feature brick and stone exteriors with modern, classical designs.

  • 77 12th Street: 12th & Midtown expands its reach with the addition of this 23-story mixed-use tower consisting of 330 luxury one and two bedroom apartment homes with 20,000 square feet of restaurants and retail below. This project will be completed by Daniel Corporation, Northwestern Mutual and Selig Enterprises to complete this amenity-packed facility.

For more information on

luxury apartments in Atlanta, be sure to explore our site.

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Multifamily Production Index improvingThe latest Multifamily Production Index (MPI) from the

National Association of Home Builders showed improvement for the eight consecutive quarter with an index level of 54. This is the highest score since the second quarter of 2005.

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the condominium and apartment market on a scale of 0 to 100. This quarter’s score of 54 is a three point gain from the score of 51 in the first quarter of 2012.

The MPI provides a comprehensive measure of three key elements of the multifamily housing market: market-rate rental units, for sale units and construction of low-rent units. According to the scale, any number above 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions as improving than as declining. Market rate rental units had a score of 63 with for sale units at 41 and low-rent units at an all-time high of 61.

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measure the multifamily housing industry’s perceptions of vacancies, increased five points in the second quarter to a 36. Lower MVI numbers indicate fewer vacancies.

Historically, the MPI and MVI have been good indicators of U.S. Census figures for multifamily starts and vacancy rates providing information on likely movement in those figures one to three quarters in advance.

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Luxury Atlanta Apartment Herb GardenLooking for ways to make luxury Atlanta apartment living more eco-friendly? Consider a few helpful tips for going green in an apartment setting from the blog of one of Atlanta’s premiere luxury apartment buildings,


  • Use it or lose it: Unplug electronics that aren’t in use. Even when they’re in “sleep” mode they are still eating a lot more energy and money than you think. Similarly, turn off all of the lights when you leave a room.
  • Make energy efficient: Need to replace an old appliance? Look for energy-efficient models.
  • Switch it up: Start using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) instead of incandescent bulbs. CFL uses less wattage by making light instead of converting light into heat.
  • Get growing: Visit local farmer’s markets to pick up fresh produce or plant your own herb garden on your windowsill.
  • Wishy washy: Washing your laundry on the cold setting can conserve about 80 percent of the energy used in a hot setting.
  • Cut it short: Conserve water by taking shorter showers and turning the water off while you’re brushing your teeth.
  • Reuse, reduce: Lessen your carbon footprint by printing on recycled paper, filling reusable water bottles and using cloth napkins. All of these simple switches create less waste!

Are you already living green in your

luxury Atlanta apartment? We’d love to hear how you’re lifestyle is making a positive eco-friendly impact! For more on green new homes Atlanta, be sure to check out Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

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Attention renters: are you looking for the hottest location with the best rent deals? According to

Yahoo! Homes, Atlanta is one of ten cities with amazing homes for rent.

For Atlanta residents, the average price for rent is $816, and Atlanta rent prices are currently down 4.4 percent. This is a great deal for southern renters!

Atlanta is becoming famous for its excellent deals in the housing industry in addition to its existing fame for great local attractions. y, but it also is a hub for attractions for the whole family.

Ride the two dollar bus ride and rail system (MARTA) to visit the shops in Buckhead or Centennial Olympic Park! If you’re a history buff, be sure to visit the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote “Gone With The Wind” or the Martin Luther King, Jr. historic district. You can also tour new exhibits like the Pop Culture Gallery at the

World of Coca-Cola or explore marine life at the

Georgia Aquarium.

And, don’t forget to take a hike and enjoy summer activities at

Stone Mountain Park. Here you can enjoy the Stone Mountain carving, laser show, campground and other outdoor activities. There are also opportunities to visit the geyser towers, go on hiking adventures and ride on the Summit Skyride, a high-speed Swiss cable car that transports you to the top of Stone Mountain.

For other deals on Atlanta

luxury apartments, check out our website. For more on the Atlanta real estate market and area attractions, visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

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According to a

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) webinar, the location of an apartment building is the most important feature for renters when choosing where they want to live. Millennials are the largest segment of the renting population, and they gravitate towards more urban areas and transportation hubs, which is where multifamily builders and developers are focusing their efforts.

“It’s all about the lifestyle for today’s renters. They want the urban experience of less commute time and immediate access to various activities,” said Jeff Kayce, vice president at Bozzuto Development Company and one of the webinar’s presenters. “Because of this, many developers are building near transit hubs and along transit lines. Bozzuto, for example, has been building many of its new apartments along DC’s metro line to create easier access for its renters.”

Besides location, apartment renters are looking for beautifully, designed common areas. Currently, these areas are being designed to have spaces merge together, creating a more open feel. “In the previous design cycle we saw separate, distinct rooms,” said Rohit Anand, AIA, and principal of the KTGY Group and webinar presenter. “Now we have the computer room, media center and lounge all part of the same room, for example. This type of design helps foster interaction among residents.”

In addition, fitness has become a priority in luxurious apartment living. According to presenters, the design of the fitness center has changed over the years from being more that a dark room overlooking the parking lot. Today, the minimum size of a fitness center is between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet. Having state-of-the-art fitness equipment in addition to a yoga and Pilates program plays a significant role while shopping for apartments.

Other emerging trends include amenities for dog runs, pet washing stations, garden plots, bike storage and workshop spaces. The use of outdoor gathering areas with an outdoor fireplace for colder seasons is also becoming popular as well as the location of the pool.

For other

luxury apartment trends, check out our website. For more on the Atlanta real estate market, visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

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