The East Coast real estate market is home to some of the best cities to invest in the US. Many property investors have noticed that their investments in this region bring higher returns than investments in other parts of the country.
If you’re looking to buy an investment property in East Coast real estate, keep reading as we list the best cities to consider. Before we jump ahead, let’s explain our methodology and how we finalized this list.
Mashvisor is an online platform that provides property investors with comparative and predictive data analytics to get projections on properties in almost every city and neighborhood in the US. With our Investment Property Calculator, we researched how investment properties perform in different cities in the East Coast real estate market and found their median price, traditional and Airbnb rental income, traditional and Airbnb cash on cash return, and the Airbnb occupancy rate.
Based on our data, the best cities in the East Coast to buy rental property are:
Key West, FL
Below (in no particular order) is a break-down of each city along with its data to help you pick which one to consider for real estate investing.
To learn more about how our calculator works and how YOU can use it to find the best rental properties in your city of choice, read “Mashvisor’s Investment Property Calculator: Real Estate Investing Made Easier.”
1) Key West, Florida
We can’t possibly start this list without talking about Florida. The state is home to numerous cities that are well-known to offer great returns for real estate investing such as Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa. However, the city that made it onto our list is none other than Key West.
Key West is not only a hot vacation spot, but it’s also a popular city in the East Coast real estate market that many people choose to live in. The city also has a strong economy, with tourism being its main industry and an unemployment rate of 2.7%. Looking at our data, you can see that both traditional and Airbnb rental properties are profitable in the Key West real estate market.
- Median Property Price: $901,964
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $709.40
- Traditional Rental Income: $4,016
- Airbnb Rental Income: $8,470
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 3.61%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 7%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 74.75%
If you’re looking for other options to invest in short-term rentals, These Are the Best Cities for Airbnb Investment 2018.
2) Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is a historical city with a touch of modernity. It has a strong economy thanks to the military’s positive impact on the area. Home to nearly one-quarter of the US military personnel, Hampton real estate has continuing demand from military families whose members are stationed on one of the many local bases.
This city in the East Coast real estate market also has a wide variety of neighborhoods, from the peaceful inland shores of Newport News to the luxurious coastline of Virginia Beach. As a result, property investors will find different types of properties for sale in which they can invest to make money in real estate.
- Median Property Price: $196,564
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $111.60
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,130
- Airbnb Rental Income: $2,758
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 2.03%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 7.67%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 46.88%
3) Richmond, Virginia
The capital city of Virginia, Richmond has a highly developed, diverse, and successful economy. The city is currently home to more than a million residents working in sectors like law, finance, medical research, and biotech. With such a strong economy comes educated, high-paid workers who are increasing the demand for real estate properties. For these reasons, the PwC ranked Richmond as the 38th US market to watch in its Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2019 Report.
The city’s rapid growth and home values make it even more attractive to property investors in the East Coast real estate market. Here’s data regarding Richmond real estate, estimated by our investment property calculator:
- Median Property Price: $330,949
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $165
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,349
- Airbnb Rental Income: $2,514
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 1.83%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 4.38%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 54.85%
4) Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a top housing market for property investors looking to invest in multi-family rental properties. Looking at our data, the first thing you’ll notice is the affordability of homes for sale in the Syracuse real estate market. In fact, this city offers the most affordable East Coast real estate investment properties on our list. Moreover, the average rental income is pretty high in the city, meaning property investors will enjoy positive cash flow.
- Median Property Price: $137,167
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $79.10
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,173
- Airbnb Rental Income: $2,247
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 2.31%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 5.37%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 57.41%
Besides multi-family homes, Syracuse real estate also has a high rental demand for single-family homes, condos, and townhomes. Whichever type of property you decide to invest in, we can help you find the best one in the market! Click here to use our Property Finder and find properties in a matter of minutes!
5) Portsmouth, Virginia
Yet another city in Virginia State, Portsmouth is a city in the East Coast real estate market that property investors should consider in 2018. It’s cheaper than both Richmond and Hampton, making it a great option for beginner investors with little capital to invest.
Though it doesn’t have the best economy, it’s definitely improving. The city has a workforce and infrastructure that supports business growth, innovation, and continued job growth.
Furthermore, due to its geographical location, it has plenty of tourists’ attractions making it a great housing market for short-term vacation rentals. Just take a look at the data below to see the amazing return on investment on Airbnb investments in Portsmouth:
- Median Property Price: $195,717
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $111.10
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,197
- Airbnb Rental Income: $2,510
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 2.32%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 9.03%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 57.89%
6) Wilmington, North Carolina
A real estate investor might be surprised to see the Wilmington housing market on this list of best cities in the East Coast real estate market to buy investment properties. However, the city has earned its spot on this list for two main reasons.
First, the city continues to support healthy job growth and business development. It has an unemployment rate of 4.7%, which is significantly lower than the state’s (5.5%) and the national average (5.3%).
Second, Wilmington has a growing population that is increasing the demand for rental properties. However, the amount of available inventory currently exceeds the demand. Thus, as a real estate property buyer, you’ll have an advantage and the ability to buy an investment property at a reduced price!
In addition, the city’s strong tourism industry and proximity to the beach make it a good place to consider for short-term rentals. To start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.
- Median Property Price: $319,245
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $151.40
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,484
- Airbnb Rental Income: $2,951
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 1.56%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 4.2%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 37.2%
7) Westbrook, Maine
Maine has always been a popular vacation destination, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it made it as one of the best places to invest in East Coast real estate. There are a number of cities and towns in Maine that property investors would find profitable, but Westbrook is the one to make it on our list.
The city has an unemployment rate of 3.5%, a job growth rate of 30.1%, and it’s an affordable place to live in. These factors are encouraging more people to move to the city, increasing the demand for rental properties. Moreover, renting out on Airbnb has become the optimal rental strategy for Westbrook real estate investors. Read “Invest in Maine Real Estate as Airbnb Says Locals Made $40 Million in Summer 2018” for more details.
- Median Property Price: $269,092
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $188
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,453
- Airbnb Rental Income: $4,452
- Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 1.47%
- Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 9.9%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 69.71%
If you’re thinking of investing in East Coast real estate to make money with rental properties, the above are the best cities to consider. Remember, our Investment Property Calculator and Property Finder Tools will help you find the best property that’ll meet your needs and investment goals!
Click here to start out your 14-day free trial with Mashvisor to start and finish your property search in just 15 minutes!