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Best cities to own US investment property

Given its track record over the last few years, it’s no surprise to find Florida high on the list of the best places to own US investment property. Consistently rising house prices and population increases plus buoyant job creation make metros in the Sunshine State strong contenders for top investment spots. In a recent survey, Florida cities take 4 out of the top 10 positions with 2 in the top 3.

The report carried out by the personal finance portal GOBankingRates looks at 67 of the 100 largest cities. Taking four main criteria – population growth, job creation, house price rises and rental yields – it ranks the top 20 best cities to own US investment property.

In the executive summary, GOBankingRates notes that “Florida and Texas both have multiple cities that rank among the best places to own property for rent”. It’s Florida, however, that dominates the top ratings.

Orlando for job creation and population growth

A metro area with a growing number of inhabitants attracted by employment opportunities has a natural demand for rental properties. Florida is one of the most popular spots for relocation in the US, both among the working population and retirees. Add to this one of the country’s highest job creation rates and the state stands out as a top spot to buy US investment property.

Of the 4 Florida metros in the top 10, Orlando takes the highest position. The city ranks in second place with strong figures for all four of the GOBankingRates criteria. Orlando’s population growth of 4.8% is the third highest behind just Seattle and Miami. Job creation (3.5% in the year) is the second highest among America’s 67 largest metros.

Properties in Orlando have increased in value by 10.7%, not the highest in the report, but well into double digits. Rental yield for buy-to-let investment comes in at a healthy 5.7% per annum.

Jacksonville for rental yield

Just behind Orlando, Jacksonville takes third place in the top 20 best cities to buy US investment property. The report describes the metro area as “conducive to prospective property owners”, particularly when it comes to rental yield. Owners of buy-to-let properties in Jacksonville can expect an average of 6.8% a year.

The metro area also ticks the boxes for strong population growth (3.1%) and job creation (3.2%). House prices in Jacksonville have gone up by 10.1% since March 2013.

Tampa for return

In ninth position is Tampa, a regular on lists for best property investment in the US. The report mentions that this is the third year in a row that the metro area has featured in the top 10. Like the other Florida metros in the listing, Tampa excels in population growth (up by 4.6%) and job creation (2.3%).

It’s in the housing market, however, that Tampa really shines. House prices have risen by 13% since March 2013, one of the highest in the listing. The report points out that the Tampa property market has outperformed the S&P 500 index for return. In the five years between March 2013 and March 2018, the percentage return on property in Tampa reached 126.3%. The figure is the highest in the country making the metro a real contender for best place to buy US investment property.


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