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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 12:17pm

Atlanta Housing Market Uptick Aids State

Rents are beginning to rise in Atlanta, and job growth is picking up. Experts say that means the city’s housing market is slowly beginning to recover. And that will impact the wider Georgia economy.

Signs of life in Atlanta’s housing market won’t automatically translate into more home sales in Macon or Savannah.

But new home and apartment complexes that fuel the state’s construction industry will affect a host of Georgia industries from timber to carpets. And that means jobs.

Rajeev Dhawan is an economist a Georgia State University.

"If you’re going to transport that timber from South Georgia to North Georgia, you’ll need all the supply chain in between," he said. "So whether you’re living in South Georgia or North Georgia, an improvement in Atlanta is going to have spillover impact on you. It may be a little slow but it’s not trivial.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, permits to build new homes and apartments are up 30 percent in Georgia so far this year.

Emory University finance professor Tom Smith says that will help Georgia companies that depend on new construction.

“We have in the northern part of the state a lot of skin the game. You have Mohawk Industries that does flooring and carpet," he said. "You have other companies harvesting timber for the construction of everything from framing houses to making Ikea furniture.”