The housing market is hot right now. With interest rates often hovering below 3 percent, now might be a good time to invest in real estate. What are the best cities to buy real estate in now?
Location is the key to successful real estate investing. When buying real estate to live in, rent out, or renovate and flip, you want to make sure you buy in a location that other people want to live in. Areas experiencing growth in jobs will see an influx of people moving there and new residents will need places to live.
However, growth in an area isn’t the only factor to consider when deciding where to invest in real estate. Like any wise investing strategy, you have a better chance of making money if you buy low and sell or rent high. For example, you don’t want to buy a $200,000 rental property if you can only get $1,000 a month in rent. After paying the mortgage and insurance on the property, the amount of profit would be minimal, if anything.
Here are five of the best cities to buy real estate in right now. Most of the cities on this list command higher median rents and have lower median home prices.
Atlanta is the fourth fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. An estimated 500 people move to "The Big Peach" every day. Georgia’s capital has a population of about 506,000. The top employers in the area include UPS, Delta Air Lines, SunTrust Bank, and The Home Depot.
Although you can buy a home for as low as $70,000 in Atlanta, the median home sale is $190,000. The median rent per month is $1,434. Home values and average rents in Atlanta have gone up by over 12 percent in the last year.
When considering buying real estate in Florida, Jacksonville is one place you shouldn’t overlook. The city is located on the state’s eastern coast and runs along the St. Johns River—the longest river in Florida.
Jacksonville has a population of about 1.5 million. Homes are usually more affordable than the national average. The median sales price in Jacksonville is about $189,000, while the median rent per month is $1,409. Home prices in Jacksonville have increased by almost 17 percent in the last year, according to Zillow.
Everyone seems to be moving to Texas. Within the past year, many large companies have announced that they are moving to the state. Although Austin and Dallas are attractive, Houston also offers great potential, especially if you’re looking for real estate investments.
Home to much of the U.S. oil and gas industry, Houston has plenty of job opportunities for new people moving to the area. The city’s population of over 7 million residents is growing at a rate 206 percent faster than the national average.
The median sales price of homes in the Houston area is about $175,000, while the median rent is about $1,517 per month.
In the Midwest, Ohio’s capital city of Columbus has one of the hottest housing markets in the country. In the past year, home values have jumped up by over 17 percent. The median sales price of Columbus homes is $183,000, while the median rent is $1,310 per month.
Although the city still has some depressed neighborhoods, there's high demand in Columbus for older, renovated homes located in walkable neighborhoods.
Charlotte often ranks as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Home values in this Southern city have increased by almost 19 percent over last year. The city’s metro area has a population of 2.5 million, with many Millennials relocating there. Several Fortune 500 companies like Bank of America, Honeywell, and Sonic Automotive have their headquarters in the area.
In Charlotte, the median home price is $249,275, while the average rent is $1,502 per month.