Best and Worst Cities in Which to Own Investment Property

Three Florida cities—Orlando, Tampa and Miami—rank among the Top 10 Cities in Which to Own Investment Property, according to results of an analysis published recently by GOBankingRates.com.

The personal finance news and features website also ranked the Worst Cities in Which to Own Investment Property, with Anchorage, Alaska, taking that list’s dubious top honor.

GOBankingRates surveyed 61 out of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. for the list, analyzing such factors as:

  • Employment growth: the percent change in the city’s number of employed people year-over-year
  • Population growth: the percent change in the city’s population year-over-year
  • Increase in home values: the percent change in the city’s median home value year-over-year
  • Years to pay off property: the number of years it would take for rental income to pay off the median home value

“Growing populations in the top 10 cities on our list are fueling the need for more housing,” said Cameron Huddleston, Life + Money columnist for GOBankingRates. “That’s why these cities are such great places to own investment property now. On the other hand, the cities at the bottom of our list have seen little-to-no population growth, so the demand for housing isn’t as high—which means real estate investors won’t do as well there.”

High-level takeaways of the report:

  • Five out of the 10 best cities to own property are located in Florida and Texas.
  • Population levels are actually declining in places like Anchorage and Cleveland, pushing them to the bottom of the list.
  • When it comes to real estate investments, Midwest isn’t best—none of the Midwest states made it into the top 15 of the best states to own investment property.
  • Seattle, Austin and Reno rank among the top 10 places to own investment property. However, it takes 17 to 19 years to pay off median home values in these cities based on yearly rents.

Top 10 Best Cities in Which to Own Investment Property

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Tampa, Florida
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Reno, Nevada
  7. Dallas, Texas
  8. Portland, Oregon
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina
  10. Miami, Florida

10 Worst Cities in Which to Own Investment Property

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  5. Cleveland, Ohio
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii
  7. Detroit, Michigan
  8. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  9. Omaha, Nebraska
  10. El Paso, Texas

Methodology

GOBankingRates.com surveyed 61 of the 100 most populous U.S. cities, based on 2015 Census estimates, and evaluated each city by four main factors: (1) employment growth, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Summaries in August 2016, with the percentage representing the employment change from June 2015 to June 2016 in each city; (2) population growth, based on and sourced from the 2014 and 2015 Census, with the percentage representing the change in population from 2014 to 2015; (3) increase in home values, based on Zillow Home Value, with the percentage representing the change in median home values for single-family homes from June 2015 to June 2016, sourced August 2016; (4) years to pay off property, which was based using the median home value for July 2016 and the median rent for a single family residence for July 2016, both sourced from Zillow. Median rent was multiplied by 12 to obtain yearly rent and then home value was divided by yearly rent to determine how many years it would take for the home to be paid off from rental income using current home values and rent prices for each city.

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