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Best Rental Markets for Spring

If you’re looking into real estate investing this spring, this article is for you.

But before we get into the specific markets we recommend, here are a couple of important considerations to take into account.

A New York skyline in Spring with cherry blossoms in the foreground - Express Capital Financing

Understand your goals

First and foremost, it is important to qualify any investment advice by understanding that the most ideal market for one investor may not work out for another individual with different goals, budget, strategy, etc.

Where you ultimately settle on concentrating your investment energy is entirely dependent on your own unique personal investment profile.

What Makes a Good Market to Invest In? 

Apartment buildings for rent in the US - Best Rental Markets for Spring​

Express Capital Financing has been advising successful investors in the single and multifamily rental sectors for decades.

We’ve found that the top-performing markets typically share three common denominators: excellent employment statistics, strong population growth, and affordable home prices.

Finding a market that exhibits all of these economic growth characteristics and chances are it is a viable investment opportunity in terms of potential cash flow and steady appreciation.

Employment Statistics

One way to gauge the economic health of a potential rental market is through employment statistics.

By looking at labor force participation rate, unemployment rate, and wage growth, you can get an idea of whether job opportunities are plentiful in the area.

Population Growth

Another factor to consider is population growth.

Areas with a steady population growth tend to have increased demand for rental properties, so it’s important to understand the population dynamics in any given market.

Affordable Home Prices

Finally, affordability is key when evaluating rental markets.

Renters look for affordability when searching for a new home. By researching median home prices, median rental prices, and vacancy rates in the area, you can get an idea of the price points that renters are willing to pay.

This information can help you determine whether there is enough room in the market for your rental property and whether it will be competitively priced to attract tenants. 

Make sure to check local annual reports to get hold of as much of this economic growth information as possible to ensure you make the best investment decision.

What Makes a Great Rental Property?

A rental property with a pool at night in the US - Best Rental Markets for Spring - ECF

When looking for a rental property, there are many factors to consider to ensure you develop a property that will secure high occupancy rates.

A great rental property should have features that make it attractive to potential tenants and increase the value of the property. Here are some key elements to look for when selecting a rental property:

Location

Location is perhaps the most important factor when selecting a rental property. Look for properties that are in desirable areas with easy access to transportation, schools, and amenities.

Condition

Ensure the property is in good condition before purchasing. Invest in necessary repairs to make sure the property is safe and attractive to potential tenants.

Amenities

Features like a pool, spacious yard, or updated appliances can help increase the rental value of your property and attract better tenants.

Meets the Needs of the Local Demographic

Make sure that your property matches the needs of the local demographic. While top-end furnishings and a wide range of amenities make a beautiful property, if the local area can’t afford luxury property, you’re only going to achieve low rental occupancies.

The Best Rental Markets for Spring

Now that we’ve got those bases covered, here is a closer look at some of the hottest housing markets that are producing above-average returns on investment headed into the spring months. We’ll look at various cities and counties across the US that prove time and time again to be winning rental markets.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle City Skyline - Best Rental Markets for Spring​ 

Owning a rental property in Seattle, Washington, offers a host of advantages that make it an attractive market for property investors. Seattle is renowned for its booming tech industry, anchored by companies like Amazon and Microsoft, which continuously draws a steady influx of well-paid professionals to the city. Spring in Seattle brings milder weather and longer daylight hours, making it an ideal time for people to explore their housing options, thus increasing demand for rental properties.

The city’s rich cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, and thriving job market contribute to a strong demand for rental housing. In terms of property values, the average house price in Seattle was around $750,000 to $800,000. While this is well above the national average and the city is known for having a higher cost of living, it also offers the potential for solid rental income and property appreciation.

Seattle’s natural beauty, with its proximity to Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, provides residents with a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking to water sports. This attractive blend of urban amenities and natural landscapes makes Seattle an appealing destination for renters.

Moreover, the city has a diverse rental market, from apartments in downtown high-rises to single-family homes in suburban neighborhoods. With a consistent rental demand and the potential for strong returns on investment, Seattle remains an enticing choice for property investors. However, it’s essential to note that real estate market conditions can change, and property values may have evolved since my last update, so conducting current market research is crucial when considering an investment in Seattle.

Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s year-round warm and sunny climate is a major draw, and this comfortable weather is particularly appealing and the city’s strong economy focuses on industries like finance, healthcare, and tourism, providing a stable job market, and continuously attracting professionals and families to the area.

Moreover, the average house price in Tampa is well below the national average ranging from $250,000 to $300,000. This affordability compared to many other major cities in the U.S. allows for more accessible entry into the real estate market and the potential for solid rental income.

Tampa’s appealing lifestyle, with access to beautiful beaches, water-based activities, and a vibrant cultural scene, draws a diverse range of tenants, from retirees to young professionals and families. The city’s rental market remains competitive and robust, offering a stable investment opportunity for property owners.

The warm and sunny spring in Tampa, coupled with the city’s year-round attractions, makes it an ideal time for property owners to attract new tenants and maximize returns on their investments. However, property values and market conditions may have changed since my last update, so it’s important to conduct current market research when considering an investment in Tampa.

Atlanta, Georgia

Investing in rental property in Atlanta, Georgia, presents a multitude of advantages. Atlanta’s dynamic economy, characterized by a thriving job market across sectors like technology, film and television production, and healthcare, consistently draws professionals seeking both employment and rental accommodations. In spring, Atlanta’s pleasant weather and blossoming greenery make it an appealing time for tenants to relocate. The city’s rich cultural scene, marked by museums, theaters, and vibrant festivals, offers entertainment and cultural enrichment, attracting driving rental demand from people looking for a dynamic urban lifestyle.

Furthermore, Atlanta’s relative affordability compared to some major U.S. cities is a significant draw for both individuals and families. The average house price in Atlanta typically ranges from $250,000 to $350,000, below the national average and therefore making it an accessible market for property investors. This affordability, combined with a diverse range of housing options, allows property owners to cater to various tenant preferences and demographics, providing a steady line of rental income.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix Arizona Skyline - Best Rental Markets for Spring

Phoenix enjoys a sunny climate, which is particularly inviting during the spring, making it an ideal time for prospective tenants to explore their housing options. With a robust job market across various industries, including technology and healthcare, the city consistently attracts a diverse pool of professionals seeking employment and rental accommodations.

One of the standout benefits of owning rental property in Phoenix is the relative affordability compared to some major metropolitan areas. The average house price in Phoenix is around the national average at $350,000 to $400,000. This affordability, coupled with a range of housing options from single-family homes to apartment complexes, allows property owners to cater to various tenant needs and preferences.

Austin, Texas

Renting out a property in Austin, Texas, during the spring season offers several compelling advantages. Firstly, Austin’s thriving job market and burgeoning tech industry continually draw professionals seeking both employment and rental accommodations. The mild and pleasant weather during the season adds to the appeal, making it a prime time for individuals and families to make the move to the city. Additionally, Austin’s rich cultural scene comes alive in the spring, with festivals and events, such as SXSW, attracting renters looking to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant music and arts culture. The city’s also has a number of enticing outdoor activities, from hiking to water sports, luring enthusiasts to seek nearby rental properties. With a diverse array of housing options and a track record of robust rental market performance, Austin in the spring presents an opportune time for property owners to capitalize on this dynamic and growing rental market.

San Francisco, California

Residential Streets of San Fransisco - Best Rental Markets for Spring

Investing in rental property in San Francisco can be an attractive opportunity for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, the city’s enduring status as a global tech and innovation hub ensures a consistent influx of highly skilled professionals seeking housing, providing a reliable pool of potential tenants. San Francisco’s renowned cultural scene, breathtaking natural beauty, and a mild climate make it a year-round tourist destination, making short-term and vacation rentals particularly profitable. The city’s history of property value appreciation and potential for strong rental income can offer solid returns on investment, despite the initial high purchase prices. Moreover, owning a rental property in a dynamic and diverse city like San Francisco provides both financial stability and a sense of contributing to a thriving community. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the competitive market, stringent regulations, and unique challenges that come with investing in one of the most sought-after real estate markets in the country.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Interest in the Charlotte rental market has been steadily increasing after several years of consistent production. The local population is growing at exponential rates due to an extremely robust and well-diversified economic base. Several big-name companies have locations in North Carolina’s largest city, to include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Duke Energy just to name a few. Couple that with comparably low housing cost and you have an investor’s dream investment location. With average property values hovering just above $329,000 and median monthly rents coming in at approximately $1,693, there is plenty of potential for generating a sustainable cash flow with a smart investment in Charlotte. Of particular note is that the one-year equity growth in Charlotte is an amazing 25%, which is a shocking 30% above the national average.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Staying in North Carolina, Raleigh-Durham offers a host of compelling advantages. The Research Triangle region is renowned for its robust job market, particularly in the tech and healthcare sectors, which fuels consistent demand for rental housing. The appeal of Raleigh-Durham extends beyond job opportunities, with its diverse cultural scene, academic institutions, and research centers, attracting renters looking for a vibrant and stimulating environment. Spring in North Carolina also offers an ideal balance for outdoor enthusiasts, as it provides pleasant weather for exploring nearby parks and recreational activities. With a combination of strong job growth, a pleasant climate, and a thriving cultural and educational landscape, Raleigh-Durham presents a favorable environment for rental property owners to secure tenants and achieve solid returns on their investment during the spring months.

Denver, Colorado

Denver Skyline on a blue sky day - Best Rental Markets for Spring - ECF

Denver boasts a robust and diversified economy, with job opportunities spanning various industries, including tech, healthcare, and energy. This economic vitality continually attracts a steady stream of professionals seeking rental accommodations. Denver’s idyllic springtime weather and its proximity to the Rocky Mountains make it an appealing destination, with spring serving as an excellent time for prospective tenants to explore the area and settle in.

Additionally, Denver offers a vibrant cultural scene, featuring a thriving arts community, music festivals, and a dynamic culinary landscape. These cultural attractions add to the city’s allure, appealing to renters seeking entertainment and enrichment. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Denver’s natural beauty, offering easy access to hiking, skiing, and other recreational activities, especially in the spring when the weather is ideal for these pursuits.

With an average property price of $534,082, real estate investors are faced with a diverse range of housing options in Denver, from urban apartments to suburban homes, rental property owners can cater to various tenant preferences. The city’s strong rental market performance, marked by consistent demand and competitive rental prices, ensures that owning a rental property in Denver remains a sound investment. Overall, Denver’s booming economy, cultural offerings, outdoor amenities, and robust rental market make it an attractive choice for property owners looking to reap the rewards of their investment during the spring season and beyond.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is renowned for its lively music and entertainment scene, with a diverse economy driven by not only music but also healthcare, technology, and education. This diverse and strong economy results in a steady influx of professionals seeking both job opportunities and rental accommodations, especially during the spring when the city comes alive with music festivals and cultural events.

The average home price in Nashville typically ranged from $300,000 to $350,000, below the national average, making it a relatively affordable real estate market compared to some major metropolitan areas.

Nashville’s family-friendly environment, rich cultural offerings, and access to outdoor activities, such as hiking and water sports on nearby lakes and rivers, make it an attractive destination for renters. Furthermore, the city’s strong job market, with a growing number of corporate headquarters and a burgeoning tech sector, ensures a consistent demand for rental properties. These factors contribute to the potential for solid returns on investment.

Cincinnati, Ohio

The greater Cincinnati metro area has plenty to offer for savvy real estate investors looking to tap into a high-performing market that is gaining solid traction as a regional powerhouse for generating reliable investment returns. Affordable rental properties are abundant, and with an average listing of only $239,000 the financial barrier of entry is relatively low compared to other more high-profile urban national marketplaces. 

One of the biggest factors fueling Cincinnati’s growth as a rental destination is the notable influx of millennials to the already sizeable 2.2 million strong population. With 10 Fortune 500 companies setting up shop in this historic city ideally situated on the picturesque Ohio River, the strong economy is increasing the number of highly skilled, well-paid workers living in the city and requiring flexible living conditions, leading to a strong demand for housing. 

For investors, that means you likely won’t have a problem finding plenty of viable tenants willing to pay premium rental rates for the right property.

St. Augustine, Florida

A fountain near rental properties in St Augustine, Florida - ECF

Last, but certainly not least, on our list is the pristine city on Florida’s pristine coastline: St. Augustine. This neighborhood is often associated with wealth and luxury which explains the above-average median home values and higher monthly median rent prices. 

While the barrier to entry is a little steeper than in other markets, the potential equity boost makes it well worth an investor’s time to claim a stake in this top-producing rental marketplace. In the past 12 months alone, St. Augustine home values have skyrocketed by an astounding 34%, which is over 75% more than the national average. 

That, combined with a rapidly increasing local population and stable job market, means that investors should definitely consider St. Augustine when they make their next move.

Financing Your Rental Property Investment

An investor managing their finances for their rental investments - ECF

As a real estate investor, investing in rental properties is an excellent way to generate income and build wealth.

However, financing your rental property investment can be a challenge. It’s important to understand the different financing options available and consider which one will best suit your financial situation.

Mortgage Loans

Mortgage loans are one of the most popular financing options for rental property investments. As with any type of loan, they come with their pros and cons.

Mortgage Loan Pros

The primary benefits of taking out a mortgage loan include lower interest rates than hard money loans, greater flexibility in terms of repayment schedules, and the ability to leverage existing equity in other properties.

Additionally, mortgage lenders provide more options when it comes to securing a loan, such as offering fixed or adjustable rate mortgages and allowing borrowers to finance up to 85% of the purchase price.

Mortgage Loan Cons

The big pain points of taking out a mortgage loan for an investment property include stricter underwriting guidelines and higher closing costs associated with traditional mortgages.

On top of that, some lenders require higher credit scores and reserves before they will approve a loan, which can be difficult for investors with limited funds. Finally, there is also the risk that if you are unable to make payments on time, your property could be foreclosed upon.

Hard Money Loans

Hard money loans are another popular option for financing rental property investments due to their ease of access and quick turnaround time.

Pros of Hard Money Loans

Since they are typically asset-based, lenders won’t focus on an investor’s credit score or income level when determining eligibility. This makes them an ideal choice for investors who may have difficulty qualifying for traditional mortgage products.

Hard money loans also usually require a shorter loan term than traditional mortgages, meaning you can pay the loan off faster and limit your exposure to long-term interest costs. They can also be used to finance fix-and-flip projects, allowing investors to capitalize on short-term opportunities in the market.

What to Watch Out for with Hard Money Loans

The primary downside of hard money loans is the cost; these loans typically come with much higher interest rates than conventional mortgages. Additionally, since these loans are secured by the property itself, if payments aren’t made on time there is a risk that the lender could foreclose on the property and seize it as collateral.

Finally, hard money loans tend to have shorter terms than other types of financing options and lenders may require strict repayment schedules that must be adhered to in order to avoid penalty fees or foreclosure risks.

No matter which financing option you choose, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each and how they will affect your overall investment goals. By doing your research and taking the time to consider all of your options, you can make an informed decision that will help you maximize your return on investment.

Get Started Today!

Express Capital Financing is a national private money lender specializing in delivering individually tailored funding solutions that are specifically tailored to assist you in accomplishing all of your investment goals.

\With a streamlined application and underwriting process, you will have the money you need, when you need it, and all without the needless paperwork and delays associated with conventional loans. Contact us today to learn more about the Express Capital Financing difference!

FAQ

The United States is a large and diverse country, with different rental markets in each region. However, some cities have more favourable conditions than others when it comes to renting apartments or homes.

In general, cities on the West Coast tend to have higher rents due to their popularity. The tech hubs of Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are all great rental markets for spring.

On the East Coast, Boston and Washington DC are also popular choices for renters due to their higher job growth. Other cities like Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado are also becoming increasingly popular rental markets.

The rental market in the U.S. is highly competitive, and there are many cities with tight competition for desirable rentals. In particular, some of the most competitive rental markets include San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

San Francisco is one of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S., with an average rent of $3,500 per month. New York City and Los Angeles also have expensive rents, but still offer a good selection of apartments for rent. Washington D.C. is a fast-growing rental market with both affordable and high-end housing options.

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