13 Best and Worst Cities To buy Properties for Short-term Rental in 2018

Laws are ever changing. What makes a city embrace short-term rental can quickly change to stricter laws. The opposite is also true. I’ve been blogging about rent-to-sublease, but I’m doing something a little bit different today.

Today’s post is about buying in highly profitable areas and then turning it around to do short-term rentals.

That said, let’s get into it (I’ve published a similar report, you might want to check it out here).

Airbnb recently published their trends for 2018 and the findings from this report also match what Airbnb is predicting.

How This Report was Developed

There are many reports available that outline top vacation rental and short-term rental markets based on attributes such as consumer demand and anticipated gross rental revenue( for full-report of 150 cities, this is the link).

This report focuses on 150 U.S. markets and compares two figures, costs of home ownership and short-term rental potential. Costs of home ownership include a variety of factors such as purchase price, local property taxes, home insurance and maintenance. Short-term rental potential taps into multiple sources including actual Rented.com demand from management companies in these markets, as well as Everbooked and Airdna occupancy and rental rate projections, and the current legal situation in each market.

Several key points that appear to be indicative of the overall profitability of a short-term rental include:

  • Real Estate Price
  • Local Vacation Rental Rates
  • Insurance, taxes and Maintenance Costs
  • Overall Popularity of the Tourist Destination

Based on these factors, Rented.com gave out scores on a scale from 0 to 100, with the goal of objectively providing potential vacation homeowners the information necessary to select the best destination for their personal needs

Best Places to Buy Often in the South

Many of these locations have reasonable real estate prices but a strong rental potential for several reasons, such as attractiveness as a winter destination. Also, states like Florida, for example, have embraced the short-term rental market at the state level, and this reflects in our Best Places to Buy Reports. In addition, because short-term and vacation rentals inject funds into the community, local regulations are less harmful to short-term rentals than in other markets.

Best Performing Cities To Buy

CHICAGO Illinois 95.3
NAPA California 93.1
TULSA Oklahoma 92.5
MEMPHIS Tennessee 90.5
NASHVILLE Tennessee 90.3
KILLINGTON Vermont 88.3
SEATTLE Washington 87.8
NAVARRE Florida 86.0
ATLANTA Georgia 85.2
GATLINBURG Tennessee 82.9
SAN ANTONIO Texas 82.3
SAVANNAH Georgia 82.0

Worst Performing Cities

ASPEN Colorado 9.9
PALO ALTO California 10.0
‘MARTHA”S VINEYARD’ Massachusetts 10.2
NAPLES Florida 11.6
PARK CITY Utah 11.9
TELLURIDE Colorado 12.1
BALTIMORE Maryland 12.5
NEW YORK New York 12.8
PONTE VEDRA Florida 14.2
OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma 14.8
LONG ISLAND New York 14.8
BEAVER CREEK Colorado 15.9
CRESTED BUTTE Colorado 17.2

I put together this quick infographic to combine these data points together.


  • gord collins
    Posted at 18:24h, 20 August Reply

    Nice report Sam. Panama City Beach looks great. I can’t believe Aspen was rated at the bottom? I was just there and there doesn’t seem to be too much rental stock, other than the ski resorts. Maybe that’s issue?

  • Sam Zuo
    Posted at 11:43h, 21 August Reply

    Hi Gord,

    it has to do w/ seasonalities and expensive real estate.

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