Rental properties are some of the most profitable business ventures for real estate investors. If done right, it can give not just a decent return on investment but also a steady source of passive income.

Short-term rentals, particularly those listed on platforms like Airbnb, offer even greater returns compared to traditional rentals. The high Airbnb cash on cash return attracts investors into going the vacation home route instead of the conventional long-term rental strategy.

That being said, let’s take a closer look at how an Airbnb cash on cash return is way better than the traditional one and which ones are the best rental markets that will generate great returns.

The Best Locations for Airbnb Cash on Cash Return in 2022

With regard to making money in real estate, adopting a short-term rental strategy for your property is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to get your return on investment. Converting your real estate investments into vacation homes is a great way of generating positive cash flow as long as you have the right real estate investment strategy.

Part of creating a sound investment strategy is knowing how to determine good cash on cash return.

Why Does “Cash on Cash Return” Matter in Real Estate?

Investors use cash on cash return to see whether a property is profitable or not. It measures a property’s annual return relative to the money initially put out by the investor, assuming that no loans were taken and it was fully funded by the individual.

Cash on cash return is calculated by dividing the investment property’s cash inflows by the investor’s cash outflows before taxes. Simply put, the property’s net cash flow is divided by the total amount of cash the investor has put in.

A cash on cash return essentially helps investors figure out how much money can be earned back yearly from their total cash investment.

It Is Not a Return on Investment.

You’ve probably heard the term “cash on cash return” thrown around in conversations to imply return on investment. And while they seem quite similar and are often used interchangeably, they are two different things.

Cash on cash return considers the out-of-pocket investment made by an individual to determine a property’s potential annual return. Return on investment or ROI, on the other hand, considers the entire investment as a whole – out-of-pocket expenses, loans, and other options used to finance the purchase of the property – to see the rate of return and profitability of the investment.

It Is Not Net Operating Income.

Cash on cash return is also sometimes confused with net operating income or NOI. Different formulas are used to determine both values. However, the main difference between the two is cash on cash return takes into account debt services. An NOI does not. The same principle is applied to both Airbnb cash on cash return and the traditional one.

Airbnb Calculator and Other Helpful Investment Property Tools

To make things easy for real estate investors, online real estate marketplace platforms, like Mashvisor, offer different tools users can use to locate properties and analyze relevant real estate data.

One such tool is a cash on cash return calculator. And while there are plenty of investment property return calculators easily accessible online, Mashvisor’s cash on cash calculator is one of the best calculators used and preferred by thousands of investors. It not only helps investors figure out their traditional or Airbnb cash on cash return but it also gives them access to all markets across the US to help them find the most suitable traditional or Airbnb income property that aligns well with their investment goals and criteria.

Click here to learn more about the different useful Mashvisor tools. Check out the site and see why thousands of real estate investors prefer to use the platform.

Why are Airbnb Rentals More Profitable than Traditional Rentals?

While traditional rental property owners prefer long-term rentals because of the stability they provide, vacation homeowners choose to go this route for a few valid reasons. They are more popular since they offer travelers cheaper alternatives to hotels. The practicality offered by such properties makes them a magnet for those who often travel for business or those who want to go on budget-friendly vacations.

And while vacation rentals don’t provide the stability of fixed, regular monthly payments, Airbnb owners get to enjoy higher monthly rental rates, especially in places where the Airbnb demand is high.

Airbnb rentals offer property owners greater control over rent and property management. Plus, the risk of ending up with a bad tenant is less likely to occur compared to those with traditional rental properties.

What Makes for a Good Cash on Cash Return for Real Estate Investors?

Real estate investing can be done in several ways. Those who choose to venture into rental properties can choose between two strategies: traditional and short-term rentals. Investors with a lower risk tolerance are more likely to go the traditional rental route, while those with a greater risk appetite choose to go with the short-term rental strategy. Ultimately, the choice of whether to go long-term or short-term rentals will depend on the investor’s profile and circumstance.

While different factors, directly and indirectly, affect a property’s cash on cash return rate, regardless of whether it’s a long term rental property or a vacation home, most experts agree that a good return rate falls anywhere between 8% to 12%. Any property that generates this type of cash on cash return rate is considered a worthwhile investment. The only catch is that it is harder to find properties that offer these numbers nowadays. So generally, getting at least a 3% cash on cash return is already considered acceptable in most markets.

What Makes for a Good Cash on Cash Return for Real Estate Investors?

A good cash on cash return rate ranges from 8% to 12%.

30 of the Top US Cities Where Real Estate Investors Can Get a Good Airbnb Cash on Cash Return

We have listed 30 of the top rental markets that generate a good Airbnb cash on cash return. But first, let’s take a look at the different factors we used to come up with this list of the best locations for Airbnb rental properties:

  • Median property price. Not to be confused with average price. This is the middle point of all the property prices publicly listed in a market. This number means that half of the houses sold in a market are more expensive while the other half is cheaper. It is a far more accurate way of determining housing affordability compared to using average house prices.
  • Average price per square foot. This shows the average property cost by the square foot.
  • Days on market. A higher average number indicates signs of a weak market or one in favor of buyers. On the other hand, a market with a lower average DOM is a sign of a strong market that is more favorable for sellers.
  • Number of Airbnb rental listings. This indicates the number of vacation homes that are marketed and tagged as active listings on Airbnb.
  • Daily Airbnb rental income. This number is the given average Airbnb rental income per day in a specific market.
  • Airbnb occupancy rate. The occupancy rate gives investors an idea of the ratio of a property’s booking potential in a month. The number of bookings is relative to the percentage of occupancy. The higher the percentage, the more potential bookings.
  • Monthly Airbnb rental income. This is the average monthly Airbnb rental income in a specific location. This gives an investor an idea of how much he or she can earn if the rental property is listed on Airbnb. This number is drawn using real estate comps.
  • Airbnb cash on cash return rate. This is the amount of the Airbnb rental property’s potential annual return relative to the investor’s initial out-of-pocket expense.
  • Walk Score. This helps determine how convenient a location is to access goods and services without owning a car. The higher the score, the more convenient it is to do errands on foot.

That being said, here are 30 of the best locations that offer the best cash on cash return for Airbnb rental properties:

1. Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star AK

  • Median Property Price: $288,168
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $174
  • Days on Market: 114
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 227
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $137
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 44%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,484
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 78%
  • Walk Score: 33

2. Gaylord, Otsego MI

  • Median Property Price: $317,522
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $153
  • Days on Market: 63
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 117
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $232
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 38%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,588
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 39%
  • Walk Score: 81

3. Geneva, Ashtabula OH

  • Median Property Price: $181,596
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $134
  • Days on Market: 269
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 117
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $228
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 64%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,533
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 38%
  • Walk Score: 66

4. Mountain View, Stone AR

  • Median Property Price: $267,239
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $180
  • Days on Market: 73
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 100
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $151
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 16%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,852
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 37%
  • Walk Score: 39

5. Tobyhanna, Monroe PA

  • Median Property Price: $280,057
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $167
  • Days on Market: 42
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 264
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $296
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 92%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,448
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 7.29%
  • Walk Score: 25

6. Galena, Jo Daviess IL

  • Median Property Price: $510,164
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $255
  • Days on Market: 73
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 229
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $268
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 07%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $5,021
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 21%
  • Walk Score: 76

7. East Stroudsburg, Monroe PA

  • Median Property Price: $455,873
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $166
  • Days on Market: 78
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 334
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $290
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 98%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $5,358
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 13%
  • Walk Score: 78

8. Groton, New London CT

  • Median Property Price: $632,283
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $285
  • Days on Market: 654
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 100
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $100
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 39%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $5,991
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 12%
  • Walk Score: 57

9. Niagara Falls, Niagara NY

  • Median Property Price: $190,578
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $121
  • Days on Market: 179
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 179
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $155
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate:24%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,585
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 7.02%
  • Walk Score: 80

10. Temecula, Riverside CA

  • Median Property Price: $734,128
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $354
  • Days on Market: 57
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 290
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $446
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 26%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $7,118
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 88%
  • Walk Score: 28

11. Auburn, Lee AL

  • Median Property Price: $455,615
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $221
  • Days on Market: 27
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 189
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $349
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 76%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $4,201
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 79%
  • Walk Score: 84

12. North Las Vegas, Clark NV

  • Median Property Price: $424,965
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $228
  • Days on Market: 73
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 191
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $213
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 66%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $4,324
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 78%
  • Walk Score: 62

13. Klamath Falls, Klamath OR

  • Median Property Price: $428,203
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $219
  • Days on Market: 179
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 120
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $217
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 93%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,984
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 74%
  • Walk Score: 66

14. Nashville, Brown IN

  • Median Property Price: $407,180
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $260
  • Days on Market: 79
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 161
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $281
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 79%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $4,520
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 73%
  • Walk Score: 56

15. Jim Thorpe, Carbon PA

  • Median Property Price: $355,350
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $165
  • Days on Market: 143
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 128
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $245
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 63.63%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3682
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 71%
  • Walk Score: 53

16. Wisconsin Dells, Columbia WI

  • Median Property Price: $331,459
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $179
  • Days on Market: Data not available
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 259
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $341
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 29%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,539
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 7%
  • Walk Score: 69

17. Greensboro, Guilford County NC

  • Median Property Price: $313.467
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $237
  • Days on Market: 84
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 253
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $112
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 07%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,183
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 69%
  • Walk Score: 80

18. Lake Ariel, Wayne PA

  • Median Property Price: $368.060
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $167
  • Days on Market: 101
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 162
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $331
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 51%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,698
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 66%
  • Walk Score: 14

19. High Point, Guilford NC

  • Median Property Price: $331,437
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $154
  • Days on Market: 31
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 164
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $202
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 65%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,340
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 65%
  • Walk Score: 58

20. South Bend, St. Joseph IN

  • Median Property Price: $361,507
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $166
  • Days on Market: 39
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 369
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $316
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 73%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,238
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 61%
  • Walk Score: 80

21. New Bern, Craven NC

  • Median Property Price: $376,397
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $201
  • Days on Market: 149
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 120
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $159
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 52%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,432
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 54%
  • Walk Score: 74

22. New Paltz, Ulster NY

  • Median Property Price: $693,920
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $259
  • Days on Market: 61
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 138
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $314
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 75%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $7,503
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 6.52%
  • Walk Score: 74

23. Sheboygan, Sheboygan WI

  • Median Property Price: $255,391
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $141
  • Days on Market: 46
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 120
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $316
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 71%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,933
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 51%
  • Walk Score: 88

24. Waianae, Honolulu HI

  • Median Property Price: $449,048
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $471
  • Days on Market: 75
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 159
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $215
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 53%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,760
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 45%
  • Walk Score: 5

25. Glendale, Maricopa AZ

  • Median Property Price: $454,925
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $252
  • Days on Market: 38
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 214
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $202
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 74%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $4,164
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 45%
  • Walk Score: 89

26. Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino CA

  • Median Property Price: $360,292
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $276
  • Days on Market: 65
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 202
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $195
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 88%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,232
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return:43%
  • Walk Score: 54

27. Bisbee, Cochise AZ

  • Median Property Price: $330,911
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $213
  • Days on Market: 206
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 120
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $140
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 62%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2.948
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 6.41%
  • Walk Score: 18

28. Springfield, Greene MO

  • Median Property Price: $297,546
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $131
  • Days on Market: 51
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 253
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $124
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 63%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,360
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 4%
  • Walk Score: 92

29. Bellaire, Antrim MI

  • Median Property Price: $369,971
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $195
  • Days on Market: 137
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 211
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $268
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 89%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,342
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 4%
  • Walk Score: 55

30. Gulfport, Harrison County MS

  • Median Property Price: $304,820
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $147
  • Days on Market: 150
  • Airbnb Rental Listings: 197
  • Airbnb Daily Rate: $154
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 06%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,826
  • Airbnb Cash-on-Cash Return: 4%
  • Walk Score: 61

The Bottom Line

Generating a positive cash flow in rental properties is made easier if you have the right data and tools to help you come up with the best rental strategy. Regardless of whether you choose to go the traditional rental route or short-term rentals, an investor should always perform their due diligence to ensure they make a decent traditional or Airbnb cash on cash return which greatly affects the overall ROI rate.

To help you locate the best rental property with an ideal Airbnb cash on cash return rate, sign up for a free trial on Mashvisor now and get 15% off on your subscription.




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