15 Best Places to Buy Rental Properties in 2024

Published on Apr 15, 2024


Forget the rollercoaster of recent years. 2024 is shaping up to be the year of opportunities for forward-thinking real estate investors. Harvard’s recently released America’s Renting Housing 2024 suggests a stabilizing market, with rents still at record highs and demand remaining strong. Another bullish signal is the FED hinting at mid-year rate cuts. ‘Bout time, right? It's a forecast duo that’s brewed up the perfect storm: less competition, high profitability potential, and sustainable growth.

The key to success? Location, location, location. Here are the best places to buy rental properties in 2024.

Best Cities for Buying Investment Properties in 2024



GDP Growth %

Metro Pop Growth %

Rental Yield %

Vacancy Rate %

Median Home Price (USD)

Property Taxes by State %

Job Growth by State %


Austin, TX









Las Vegas, NV









Orlando, FL









Charlotte, NC









Athens, GA









Houston, TX









Raleigh, NC









Tampa, FL









Birmingham, AL









San Antonio, TX









Phoenix, AZ









Seattle, WA









Jacksonville, FL









Atlanta, GA









Cleveland, OH








*See the rationale behind our rankings in the methodology section below.

1. Austin, Texas

The best place to buy rental property is…drum roll…Austin, Texas. And it’s not much of a headscratcher why. Austin's got a buzz that won't quit. Startups, music festivals, students—the whole city feels like it's running on high-octane coffee. This isn't the place to retire; it's the place to make things happen. That relentless energy is fueling crazy-fast growth: new neighborhoods, new companies, and new opportunities for real estate investing.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Big tech companies have turned Austin into “Silicon Hills,” fueling a job market that's the envy of Texas. But it's not just tech: Austin has a booming healthcare sector and clean energy industry, and it still makes stuff. Like actual real stuff. Incredible.

Rental Yields

Recently, rents have cooled, with prices down 3% year-over-year. But don't panic: those high city-center yields (7.6%) suggest long-term potential, especially with Austin's population still growing fast. Think of this dip as an investment opportunity, not a sign of the market's tanking.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Austin boasts great schools, top-notch healthcare, and live music on every corner—what's not to love? Public transit's even decent, with new express bus lines making living car-free a real possibility.

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas isn't your typical city. It's a neon oasis in the desert where opportunity and excess collide. The 24/7 energy and anything-goes attitude draw tourists and businesses alike, fueling a surprisingly robust economy and diverse workforce.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Vegas isn't just about casinos anymore. Sure, tourism remains the main driver of the economy, but healthcare, tech, and even mining are on the rise. Big construction projects totaling more than $8 billion in 2023, the hosting of major league sports, and the recent completion of the Las Vegas Sphere mean that growth isn't slowing down anytime soon.

Rental Yields

Traditional rental yields in Vegas are very respectable (10.8% cash-on-cash return). Even better, short-term rentals offer excellent bang for your investment buck, which makes sense, given that it's a tourist town.

Quality-of-Life Factors

People come to Las Vegas for the live shows and nightlife. But the practical stuff matters, too, and Vegas is improving in this department. Public transit is decent, especially on the Strip. Healthcare and schools are on the up, making the city not just a place to party but to actually build a life.

3. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, isn't just about theme parks anymore. It’s long been a dynamic city that boasts a thriving economy fueled by tourism, tech, aerospace, and world-class healthcare. Nothing’s changed. The current mix of industries, plus a rapidly growing population, makes Orlando a prime spot for rental property investment.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Tourism is a cash cow ($87.6 billion in 2022), but it's not the only game in town. Tech, healthcare, and even aerospace are major players here. This diversity, combined with a steadily growing workforce (population is up 1.5%), makes for a stable market. Big projects like Universal's Epic Universe mean the boom isn't ending anytime soon.

Rental Yields

Orlando boasts one of the best bang for your investment buck, averaging 13%. While average rents are down slightly from last year ($1,960 in March 2024), this is likely a correction, not a sign of trouble.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Good schools, a solid healthcare system, and endless entertainment options mean tenants are more likely to renew leases. The strong public transportation network is a bonus, reducing car dependency and making rentals more attractive to younger renters.

4. Charlotte, North Carolina

If you think Charlotte's just about sweet tea and NASCAR, think again—the city's economy is pumping along nicely. Fortune 500 headquarters, a thriving tech scene, and strong manufacturing fuel consistent job growth. This, combined with a low cost of living and vibrant culture, drives explosive population growth.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Charlotte's economy is one of the nation's fastest-growing (a 2.5% GDP growth rate in 2022). Major investments, like Apple's $1 billion in the region, signal continued expansion. Large investments, plus a diverse workforce, will make Charlotte an economic powerhouse for years to come.

Rental Yields

Investors know it's about returns, and Charlotte delivers. Gross rental yields here average a very impressive 11%. Compare that to the 4-5% national average, and you see why this market is hot.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Above-average schools, two major hospital systems, diverse attractions, and a growing arts scene make this city attractive to everyone, from young professionals to families. Happy tenants mean lower vacancy rates for you.

5. Athens, Georgia

Athens is the kind of place people visit for a weekend and end up staying for a lifetime. It's got that walkable Southern charm, a world-class music scene, and surprisingly good healthcare for a smaller city—the perfect recipe for attracting renters and making your investment thrive.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Sure, the University of Georgia is still a huge economic driver, but so are healthcare, biotech, and manufacturing. This diversity means a healthy job market—the unemployment rate is just 3.2%, lower than the national average. And it's not just jobs. Athens is growing: its population is up 1.5% year-over-year, and expansions at local biotech firms and new manufacturing facilities mean the city's well-positioned for the future.

Rental Yields

For investors, those lower purchase prices (median house prices landing just a touch over 300k) translate into solid yields (14%, to be exact), making Athens one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Athens offers a unique vibe that keeps renters happy. Stellar healthcare, a killer music scene,  and walkable neighborhoods are a huge draw. Even the public transit is decent for Georgia, with free buses making it easy to ditch the car. And let's not forget that UGA vibe that gives the whole city a youthful energy.

Learn more: is buying a rental property worth it?

6. Houston, Texas

Houston isn't a city for the faint of heart. It's hot, it's sprawling, and it's got that Texas-sized ambition. This is a place where people come to make things happen. That relentless energy drives a booming economy and constant growth.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Houston's no one-trick pony. Sure, it's the energy capital of the world, but it's home to NASA's Johnson Space Center and a manufacturing sector that's diversifying as we speak. This, plus steady population growth, is fueling job creation.

Rental Yields

Houston's rental yields are seriously impressive, clocking in at 8.3%. With its strong economy and pro-business climate, Houston offers landlords a chance for healthy returns.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Houston offers a unique quality of life. It's got well-performing universities, the world's largest medical complex, and seriously diverse food and arts scenes. And while there's some urban sprawl, the public transit's improving, and the city's investing in making neighborhoods more livable.

7. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh isn't just about the job market; it's got a surprisingly great quality of life. Think awesome schools, tons of green space, and a vibrant arts and food scene...with a cost of living that won't break the bank.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and for good reason. It's got a tech scene that rivals the West Coast, major healthcare players, and top-notch universities (thanks, Research Triangle). This mix fuels a strong job market—the population and the state's GDP are both up.

Rental Yields

Raleigh's rental market is HOT. The area is so competitive, renters are practically fighting over vacant apartments. The Raleigh-Cary metro area is the most competitive in the Southeast which means landlords have their pick of tenants.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Great schools, top-tier healthcare, a cool arts scene... Raleigh has the total package. Greenways and parks make it easy to enjoy the outdoors, and the public transit is decent for a mid-sized city. This quality of life is a major selling point for landlords.

8. Tampa, Florida

Tampa's more than just beaches and sunshine. It’s one of Florida’s largest cities with a rock-solid economy built on diverse industries to boot. This mix means steady job growth, a reliable renter pool, and less risk of those boom-and-bust cycles some cities experience.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Tampa is not a tourism town (though that helps); it has major players in defense, IT, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing. Case in point: Infrastructure projects (think billions in spending), exciting new urban developments, and expansions to the airport are all examples of the moves Tampa is making economically. And the population is up 1.1% year-over-year, so that’s a bonus.

Rental Yields

Tampa’s rental yield is sitting at a healthy 10.1%, placing it above the national average. Florida as a whole outperforms national averages, and Tampa's in-demand location makes it a top contender within the state.

Quality of Life Factors

Tampa's no sleepy beach town. Good schools, the Tampa General Hospital one of the best in the state, and attractions galore are what keep renters happy long-term. Even the public transit is decent (for Florida!), making it easy to get around without a car.

9. Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama, might just be the best-kept secret in the South. It's got big-city amenities—good schools, the best hospital in the state, even decent public transit—but with a small-town cost of living. This unique combo is a magnet for renters, and with property prices still reasonable, it's a recipe for serious investor returns.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Birmingham's economy is surprisingly diverse, with big players in healthcare, manufacturing, and tech. The city has been recognized for its economic growth potential, ranking third among U.S. mid-sized cities in a national survey by Business Facilities.

Rental Yields

Birmingham's rental yields are also crushing national averages, clocking in at 14.5%. And that's not just hype—rents are projected to jump another 12% in the next five years.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Strong schools, world-class healthcare (thanks, UAB), and a surprisingly cool arts scene make Birmingham a place where renters stick around. Even the public transit's decent, with the new Birmingham Xpress bus routes making car-free living a real option.

10. San Antonio, Texas

Forget those Texas stereotypes—San Antonio's got a soul all its own. It's the home to a vibrant mix of Mexican and Texan culture. But it's not just history—over the last few years, the city has built itself a booming healthcare sector, a growing tech scene, and some surprisingly affordable housing.

Economic and Demographic Growth

San Antonio's economy is poppin’ off. It's got a major military presence, a huge healthcare sector, and is becoming a tech hub—and it's still relatively affordable with the average house price sitting around $250k. The GDP is also up, and during the pandemic, San Antonio was the fastest-growing major city in the country.

Rental Yields

San Antonio's rental market is softening a bit, with rent prices down slightly compared to last year. This could be a good time for investors to jump in, as those lower prices paired with the city's affordability mean potentially strong yields.

Quality-of-Life Factors

People love San Antonio for its unique vibe—think River Walk, the Alamo, and huge festivals like Fiesta. But it's not all tourists and tacos. San Antonio has solid healthcare and an improving public transit system.

Learn more: should I buy a rental property?

11. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix isn't your average Sunbelt city. It's got that Southwestern swagger—a mix of burgeoning tech scene, year-round sunshine, and a unique desert landscape. It’s a combo that draws young professionals, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone craving something different.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Phoenix has a diverse economy with major players in manufacturing, tech, and healthcare. Huge new developments like the Intel expansion and the electric vehicle battery facilities are bringing thousands of jobs.

Rental Yields

While rental prices have cooled slightly lately, that high occupancy rate (95.2%) suggests strong demand remains. The takeaway for investors: this market's been hot, and while crazy growth may be slowing, long-term prospects still look good.

Quality-of-Life Factors

The real draw is the weather and outdoor lifestyle—hiking, biking, you name it. And while public transit won't win any awards, it's getting better, with the light rail expanding. A level of livability that makes renters stick around.

12. Seattle, Washington

Forget New York. If you want to invest in a major city that’s got better rental yield potential, you can’t go past Seattle. With a constant buzz of innovation and a booming economy, Seattle's making a name for itself. But it's not just about the work—vibrant art, food scenes, and stunning natural beauty make it the total package.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Seattle's a tech powerhouse, home to giants like Amazon and Microsoft. This fuels a strong economy, attracts a young, well-educated workforce, and is behind the city's recent population boom. That said, it's not just tech—a major port, healthcare, and aerospace are also economic drivers.

Rental Yields

Seattle's rental market is competitive, with high demand and rents to match (median rent is $1,950). While rental growth has cooled slightly lately, the long-term outlook remains strong. Seattle's steady job growth and limited housing supply mean those high rents aren't going anywhere.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Seattle has a happenin’, artsy vibe, vibrant coffee culture, and a walkable, European-inspired downtown. Plus, with mountains and forests at its doorstep, the outdoorsy lifestyle is real.

13. Jacksonville, Florida

Once a favorite destination for retirees, Jacksonville is now on the move. It's attracting new businesses and residents at a rapid clip, and the city's investing heavily in its future, with major downtown revitalization projects in the works. While the rental market has seen some recent cooling, this growth suggests big opportunities for investors.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Jacksonville's diverse economy has been powering steady growth. It's a major logistics hub and military town, and it's attracting everything from manufacturing to healthcare. Major new development projects, particularly downtown, show confidence in future growth—investors and homeowners like to see that.

Rental Yields

Jacksonville's rental market is a bit of a mixed bag right now. Rents have been softening recently (they're down 7% over the past year). That said, the overall demand for housing remains strong, which bodes well for the long term.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Jacksonville is not all business—the city has top-notch hospitals (HCA Florida Memorial and Orange Park Hospitals are ranked among America’s 250 best hospitals) and a surprisingly vibrant art scene. Plus, there are beaches and tons of parks for when you need to get outdoors.

14. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is constantly reinventing itself, attracting major corporations and a diverse workforce. Its blend of old-school Southern hospitality and cutting-edge ambition creates a unique vibe that draws in renters of all kinds. With new developments popping up everywhere, Atlanta's real estate market is just as dynamic as the city itself.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Don’t sleep on Atlanta. It's got a surprisingly diverse economy, with big players in healthcare, manufacturing, and trade. Plus, steady population growth and an uptick in job opportunities means Atlanta is attracting new businesses and residents at a rapid clip.

Rental Yields

Atlanta's rental yields are seriously impressive, clocking in at 10.3%. What's driving this? High demand from renters, thanks to the strong economy and a constant influx of newcomers. While rents have softened slightly recently, the overall market remains healthy, suggesting those strong yields are here to stay.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Atlanta is a city where people want to stick around. It's got top-notch universities and a killer arts and music scene. Even the public transit's decent, with MARTA making it easy to get around without a car. This livability isn't just good for residents, it's good for landlords too—happy renters are less likely to skip town.

15. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland may be the underdog, but it's got that Midwestern grit. Think of a city that’s built on manufacturing and a great work ethic. It's now home to major healthcare institutions a growing tech scene, and it hasn't forgotten its blue-collar roots.

Economic and Demographic Growth

Cleveland's economy has faced challenges, but the story's not over. While population has flatlined, the city's diverse industries are powering modest but steady growth. The city is actively investing in revitalization projects, particularly in key neighborhoods, which could further boost growth down the road.

Rental Yields

Investors, here's the good news: Cleveland's rental market is outperforming. Rent growth has soared to just shy of 40% since 2014, and those yields are significantly higher than the national average. Why? It's all about affordability. Cleveland's got some of the cheapest real estate in the country, but rents are solid.

Quality-of-Life Factors

Cleveland's no fancy coastal city, but it's got what matters: good schools, world-class healthcare (the Cleveland Clinic ranked number two in the world for the sixth consecutive year), and a surprisingly vibrant arts and culture scene.

Learn more: buying a rental property before your first home.

Metrics That Define the Best Rental Investment Location

Choosing the right city is key to a profitable rental property. But how does the smart money know where to buy investment property in 2024? By following the trends, of course. We've broken down the metrics we used to help you spot a winning market:

Rental Yield

Rental yield is all about the return on your investment. It's expressed as a percentage and reflects how much money you make from your property each year relative to its purchase price. Let's say you buy a $200,000 single-family home with a 10% rental yield. That means you'd bring in $20,000 annually in rent (before expenses). High rental yields mean more cash flow and a better cushion to cover expected and unexpected costs, making it a key factor for profitability.

Job Growth

Cities with booming job markets are magnets for new residents. It translates to a higher demand for housing, which benefits rental property investors in two ways. First, it reduces the risk of your property sitting vacant—you're more likely to find qualified tenants quickly. Second, a strong job market often leads to rising wages, allowing you to potentially charge higher rents and boost your returns.

GDP Growth

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the economic output of a local area. Strong GDP growth indicates a thriving business environment where people have money to spend, including on rent. Areas with expanding economies tend to see property values appreciate over time, which is great news for investors looking to build wealth through appreciation over both the short and long-term.

Population Growth

A growing population creates a natural demand for housing. An uptick translates to lower vacancy rates (more on that later), and the potential for rent increases as more people compete for a limited number of available rentals. Cities experiencing steady population growth are prime targets for rental property investors.

Vacancy Rates

Vacancy rate is the percentage of rental units sitting empty. High vacancy rates signal a weak rental market. Cities with consistently low vacancy rates are typically landlord-friendly, offering more stability and predictability for your investment.

Median Home Price

Median home price tells you the typical cost homebuyers are shelling out for a property in a specific area. While sky-high prices might suggest great potential returns down the road, they can also make it difficult to enter the market and return lower rental yields, especially during periods of high-interest rates. The best investment locations offer a balance—affordability for buying in today's housing market and the potential for home values to appreciate over time.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are a major ongoing expense for landlords. High tax rates can significantly eat into your rental income, making even a strong rental market with high yields less attractive. Considering property taxes helps you identify locations where your investment can generate a healthy return after factoring in all the costs.

Learn more: how to buy your first rental property.

Our Methodology for Selecting the Best Real Estate Markets

We're not just picking cities we like—there's a method to our madness. Here's why we ranked our list of top rental markets in the order we did:

Tools and Models

We crunched the numbers to find patterns in the data. This involved:

  • Metrics like median home prices and vacancy rates were normalized so there was comparability across different scales. For other metrics, such as vacancy rates and property taxes, we inverted the values to align them positively with investment potential.

  • We assigned weights to each metric based on its perceived impact on rental investment potential, allowing us to quantify the attractiveness of each market.

Rationale Behind Metric Weighting

Not all stats are created equal. Here's how we figured out which ones would make the biggest impact on your investment:

  • Rental yield shows the profitability of rental investments. Weight: 20%

  • Job growth signifies economic opportunity and stability. Weight: 20%

  • GDP growth indicates economic health. Weight: 15%

  • Metropolitan area population growth reflects population trends. Weight: 15%

  • Vacancy rate represents the percentage of unoccupied rentals. Weight: 10%

  • Median home price affects investment entry cost. Weight: 10%

  • Property taxes affect ongoing investment costs. Weight: 10%

Data Sources

Our analysis is grounded in data from the following sources:

  • Gross rental yield was taken from Numbeo.

  • Job growth figures were pulled from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • GDP Growth was extracted from the American Growth Project report by the Kenan Institute.

  • Metro population growth was sourced from MacroTrends.

  • Vacancy rates were compiled from SmartAsset and Realtor.

  • Median home prices were gathered from Zillow.

  • And property taxes by state were obtained from WalletHub.

Learn more: tips to buying rental property out of state.

Your Path to Successful Rental Property Investment in 2024

And once you’ve landed a data-backed investment? Who's going to handle all the tediousness of running a rental property?

Ziprent's got your back. Our expert team doesn't just manage properties; we maximize returns. From finding top-tier tenants to handling any curveball maintenance throws your way, we turn your data-driven decision into a seriously profitable asset.

Ready to see those returns roll in? Jump over to your rental property management services, and let Ziprent maximize your return on investment.

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