Are you a real estate investor looking to buy a rental property in the Sunshine State? Here is a list of the 10 best rental markets in Florida.

Florida continues to be one of the top US destinations for people who are either going on vacation or looking for a new home. United Van Lines recently released its 45th Annual National Movers Study, which included Florida in the top 5 states that Americans moved to in 2021. According to the report, 39% cited retirement as their reason to relocate, while 27% were after the lifestyle and 22% wanted to be close to their families.

Interestingly, not all of the new residents moved to heavily populated areas like Orlando and Miami. Instead, they chose to live in less populated areas.

As people’s priorities continue to shift as a response to the ongoing pandemic, we believe this relocation pattern will continue in 2022. And because they are moving to smaller, midsized towns and cities, the best Florida rental markets this year are about this size. Real estate investors who want to buy in the Sunshine State will be able to get an affordable home and put it up for rent fast.

Meanwhile, in the travel sector, Florida welcomed a lot of leisure travelers, especially in the summer of 2021. Despite the new Omicron variant disrupting travel plans in December, both travelers and travel experts are feeling optimistic for the industry in the spring and summer of this year.

If you are a beginner real estate investor or live out of state, you can learn more about the best rental markets in Florida this year. In this article, we will discuss why it is a good idea to buy an investment property in the Sunshine State. Then, we will list the 10 best rental markets for traditional and Airbnb rental strategies. You will also read what these areas have to offer and what their local markets are like, so you can determine which one would suit your goals.

Why Buy an Investment Property

Why Buy an Investment Property

Buying a rental property in Florida this year is looking more lucrative than before as analysts think that it will continue to outperform many states in the US. if you have been thinking about whether to invest in this market, now is the perfect time to do so. Here are some reasons why:

Population

Last year saw Florida gaining the second-highest population growth in the nation. The state welcomed 211,196 new residents from July 1st, 2020 to July 1st, 2021. This exceeded the nation’s overall growth rate, which was only 0.1%, the lowest rate ever since the Census Bureau started tracking. As more Americans move to Florida, property prices increase, giving those who have been priced out of the market no other choice than to rent.

Economic Growth

Economists projected that the number of jobs in Florida will recover to pre-pandemic numbers by the end of 2022. Wages are growing pretty rapidly in response to more workers quitting their below minimum wage jobs in favor of better-paying ones. The best rental markets in Florida for traditional rent may not be as high compared to other states, but the high returns and steady cash flow are worth it.

Cost of Living

Despite being one of the most popular destinations for vacation and retirement in the US, Florida remains to be affordable. The average cost of living in Florida is less than 1% higher than the national average. Those who were living in expensive areas would move to this state if they are able (e.g. remote workers). This does not mean they will buy a house, however. Thus, buying rental property in Florida to house these new residents is a great opportunity.

Quality of Life

Florida is known for its warm climate, interesting culture, delicious food, and huge diversity, among others. The great weather, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, allows residents and tourists to enjoy the many recreational activities available in the state.

The beaches host a variety of events that attract both Floridians and those from out of state. Meanwhile, the inland area provides a quiet retreat to those who are looking for a safe escape. You do not even have to look at popular cities when finding an investment property. In the next two sections, we used Mashvisor’s analytics to find the 10 best rental markets in Florida for traditional and Airbnb rentals.

5 Best Rental Markets in Florida for a Traditional Lease

When coming up with this list, we determined that the best investment properties in Florida are priced below $500,000. Thus, we only included local markets with median property prices below this amount. We also made sure that the price-to-rent ratio is medium and high to ensure that you will have an easy time finding a tenant. If you are looking for higher-end markets, you may use Mashvisor’s Property Search feature.

#1: Old Town, Dixie County

  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,395
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 5.71%
  • Price to Rent Ratio: 14 (medium)
  • Median Property Price: $231,709
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $177
  • Days on Market: 190
  • Walk Score: 36

Old Town is a coastal unincorporated community that has two constituent neighborhoods: Town Center and Hines. It is known to be more blue-collar than most other communities in the US. Over 35% of the residents work in blue-collar jobs. This community is the best place to buy rental property in Florida because it is fairly quiet: there are relatively few families with children and the population density is low.

At the time of writing, there are 12 Old Town, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor, ranging from $99,900 to $350,000. The median property price is $231,709, trending up 31% year-over-year. The average price per square foot is $177. As of November 2021, homes in this town sold for approximately the asking price.

#2: Suwannee, Dixie County

  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,373
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 5.46%
  • Price to Rent Ratio: 24 (high)
  • Median Property Price: $392,445
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $294
  • Days on Market: 185
  • Walk Score: 18

Suwannee is an unincorporated community in Dixie County and one of the best rental markets in Florida. This fishing village has a very small population of about 300, who make a living on both freshwater fishing in the nearby river and saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The town is surrounded by the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and features a canoe/kayak trail that goes into the refuge.

There are 11 Suwannee, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor at the time of writing. Their prices range from $119,000 to $875,000. The median property price is $392,445, a 19% increase compared to the previous year. The average price per square foot is $294. We included this community in the best rental markets in Florida list for traditional rent because of its high cash on cash returns and high price-to-rent ratio.

#3: Florahome, Putnam County

  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,614
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 5.03%
  • Price to Rent Ratio: 12 (medium)
  • Median Property Price: $235,980
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $132
  • Days on Market: 168
  • Walk Score: 21

Florahome is an unincorporated community in Putnam County and part of the Palatka Metro Area. Home to 1,285 people, the cost of living in this neighborhood is 20% lower than the national average. Florahome is one of the best places for owning rental property in Florida because of the average 5.03% cash on cash return.

At the time of writing, there are 20 Florahome, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor, ranging from $115,000 to $860,000. The median property price is $235,980, trending up 85% year-over-year. The average price per square foot is $132. As of November 2021, homes in this community have sold for approximately the asking price. It has been in a balanced market, meaning the supply of properties for sale is keeping up with the demand.

#4: Margate, Broward County

  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,649
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 4.95%
  • Price to Rent Ratio: 12 (medium)
  • Median Property Price: $238,834
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $184
  • Days on Market: 61
  • Walk Score: 69

Margate is a city in Broward County and part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metro Area, which has always been the commercial and cultural center for the state. People have moved here for its cultural diversity, beaches and water recreation, and endless entertainment. The unemployment rate in Margate is 5.5%, lower than the national average, with the recent job growth trending upward by 1.9%.

There are 66 Margate, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor at the time of writing. Their prices range from $67,000 to $580,000. The median price is $238,834, an increase of 15% from the previous year. The average price per square foot is $184. Homes in this city have sold for approximately the asking price as of November 2021. And because it is in a seller’s market, buying property in Florida to rent out in this neighborhood may be more challenging.

#5: South Palm Beach, Palm Beach County

  • Traditional Rental Income: $2,580
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 4.67%
  • Price to Rent Ratio: 12 (medium)
  • Median Property Price: $386,352
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $347
  • Days on Market: 107
  • Walk Score: 42

South Palm Beach is a town in Palm Beach County and also part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metro Area. We consider this to be one of the best rental markets in Florida because aside from the 4.67% cash on cash return, the unemployment rate is lower than the national average at 4.7%. Job growth has also been positive, with an increase of 1.4%. However, the cost of living in this town is 10.7% higher than the US average.

At the time of writing this article, there are 486 South Palm Beach, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor, ranging from $55,000 to $3,050,000. The median property price is $386,352, trending up by 10% year-over-year. The average price per square foot is $347. As of November 2021, homes in this town have sold for 4.38% below the asking price. However, South Palm Beach is currently in a seller’s market, so expect fierce competition among buyers.

5 Best Rental Markets in Florida for Airbnb

Airbnbs have been shown to generate a higher return on investment than traditional rentals do. For this list, we only included markets that allow non-owner-occupied Airbnbs to help out-of-state investors who want to expand their portfolio in this state. Nevertheless, we encourage you to double-check with the local government or HOA to make sure that you can put up a short-term rental in the area.

#1: Crestview, Okaloosa County

  • Airbnb Rental Income: $4,272
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 8.02%
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $124
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 83%
  • Median Property Price: $390,347
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $185
  • Days on Market: 50
  • Walk Score: 57

Okaloosa County’s largest city, Crestview is commonly referred to as the “Icebox of Florida” because of its cooler-than-average temperatures compared to the rest of the state. It is located at the junction of the Shoal and Yellow Rivers. Aside from interesting tourist destinations like the Emerald Coast Zoo, Panhandle Opry, and craft distilleries, people go to this area to visit their loved ones stationed in Eglin Air Force Base.

There are 41 Crestview, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor at the time of writing. Their prices range from $57,900 to $1,200,000. The median property price is $390,347, an increase of 70% from the previous year. The average price per square foot is $185. Homes in this city have sold for approximately the asking price as of November 2021. But because it is currently in a buyer’s market, investors looking to buy in this area may be able to negotiate for a lower price.

#2: Citrus Springs, Citrus County

  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,236
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 7.45%
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $187
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 60%
  • Median Property Price: $280,104
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $152
  • Days on Market: 82
  • Walk Score: 21

Citrus Springs is part of Citrus County, which is home to rejuvenating springs, breathtaking landscapes, and captivating marine animals. The constant mild weather keeps the area filled with tourists year-round. Outdoorsy types would have the most fun in the area as they can go snorkeling, kayaking, bike riding, and more. The Withlacoochee State Trail, a 46-mile bike riding trail runs through Citrus Springs.

At the time of writing this article, there are 80 Citrus Springs, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor, ranging from $77,000 to $409,900. The median property price is $280,104, trending upward by 51% year-over-year. The average price per square foot is $152. As of November 2021, homes in this neighborhood have sold for 2.86% below the asking price. Because it is in a balanced market, investors will be able to find a good property but will have no leverage.

#3: Seffner, Hillsborough County

  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,692
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 7.40%
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $224
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 66%
  • Median Property Price: $411,518
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $285
  • Days on Market: 31
  • Walk Score: 29

A community in Hillsborough County, Seffner became a sleepy Florida town after World War II when many of its residents moved to Tampa, which is located 13 miles west. Today, it is notable for its casinos and gardens and for being in proximity to the Florida State Fairgrounds and Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa. Even though Seffner is not as popular as other tourist destinations in Florida, travelers going to Sarasota or Kissimmee can take a side-trip here.

There are 8 Seffner, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor at the time of writing. Their prices range from $219,900 to $1,500,000. The median property price is $411,518, a 57% increase from the previous year. The average price per square foot is $285. Homes in this neighborhood have sold for approximately the sale price. And because it is in a seller’s market, investors may want to place an offer above the asking price to get the property they want.

#4: Orange Park, Clay County

  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,820
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 7.11%
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $197
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 61%
  • Median Property Price: $350,985
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $171
  • Days on Market: 49
  • Walk Score: 62

The town of Orange Park in Clay County offers a relaxing retreat for travelers looking for an escape from their busy life in the city. Aside from the many parks they can visit, tourists can time their trips to line up with several of the town’s community events like the Fall Festival, which is the county’s oldest arts and crafts festival. Meanwhile, families with young children would love the Kids’ Fest, a two-day event that features fun activities for the entire family.

When we created this blog post, there are 54 Orange Park, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor, ranging from $129,900 to $515,000. The median property price is $350,985, up by 37% year-over-year. The average price per square foot is $171. Homes in this area have sold for approximately the asking price. And because Orange Park is in a seller’s market, investors should consider offering above the asking price to get the property that they want.

#5: Lake Helen, Volusia County

  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,086
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 7.05%
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $113
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 64%
  • Median Property Price: $331,483
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $199
  • Days on Market: 54
  • Walk Score: 49

As a city, Lake Helen, dubbed as the “Gem of Florida”, is one of the few areas where you can put up a short-term rental (under 30 days stay) in Volusia County. Even though it is only a 30-minute drive from Orlando, time in this city moves at a slow pace, allowing tourists to relax and take in the lush, swampy landscapes. Activities in and around the city focus on the outdoors, featuring parks, golf courses, and fairground events.

There are 121 Lake Helen, FL homes for sale on Mashvisor at the time of writing this article. Their prices range from $99,900 to $799,000. The median property price is $331,483, down 5% from the previous year. The average price per square foot is $199. Homes in this city have sold for 2.4% below the asking price. Despite it being in a balanced market, investors may be able to negotiate for a lower price on the property they want to buy.

Find the Best Rental Markets in Florida on Mashvisor

The great climate, endless activities, and low cost of living make Florida a great place to live in or visit. So if you are a real estate investor looking for a new investment opportunity, you should consider the Sunshine State. We hope our list of the 10 best rental markets in Florida helps you start your search.

But if none of these areas meet your investment criteria, you can do your own research in 15 minutes with the help of Mashvisor. Type in any city of your choice on our Property Search page and you will get a quick overview of the available properties for sale in the area. You can turn on the heatmap to highlight the parts that have the highest rental income, cash on cash returns, or occupancy rates.

When you click a property that catches your interest, our listing page provides not just the description of the house but also our comprehensive analytics and calculator. These features will help you analyze the property and determine if it is worth investing in. To get access to our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.




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