An airbnb guest shaking hand with her host.

10 Best Cities for Airbnb Investing in the US

Aug 31, 2023

Real estate investors worldwide have been experimenting with the best cities for Airbnb investing lately and for a good reason. Even though investing in short-term rentals comes with additional workload and management responsibilities, it offers excellent ROI potential in countries with massive numbers of tourists. One such country is the USA.

In 2022 alone, more than 50 million international tourists visited the US. At the same time, there were around 2 billion domestic trips that took place within the country, with a quarter of all the bookings being attributed to Airbnb.

This blooming market has attracted the attention of both domestic and foreign real estate investors, as more of them are recognizing the potential of this business model. If you, too, are interested in getting into Airbnb investing in the US, this article will help you find the best city to invest in.

Here are some of the key factors to look into when looking for the best cities for Airbnb investing in the US:

  • Median home prices;
  • Airbnb occupancy rates;
  • Market capacity;
  • The climate;
  • Popular local events/festivals;
  • The length of the tourist season in the state;
  • The local laws and regulations around Airbnb and time-sharing properties;
  • And much more…

Now, let’s get straight to our list…

10 Best Cities for Airbnb Short-Term Rental in the US

Not all cities in the US offer equal opportunities and returns. That’s why we shortlisted the ten with the highest potential you should explore when looking for investment opportunities.

Los Angeles properties for Airbnb.

1. Los Angeles, CA

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$907,874 >45,000 24%

Los Angeles is one of the most popular and best US cities for Airbnb investing, which is evident by its large median home prices and the competitiveness of the Airbnb market. However, thanks to its being the home of Hollywood and its mild climate, LA has year-round demand for Airbnb properties.

Los Angeles is a tourist hot spot year-round, so renting property there will pay off quickly despite the high real estate prices. When buying an Airbnb property in LA, it’s best to look for one near the most popular tourist places in town, like the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, or Malibu.

But, what makes Los Angeles one of the most attractive cities for Airbnb investing in the US – is the variety of property types it has to offer. Whether you have a modest budget or want to rent a luxury villa, there will be demand for it in LA. 

Austin, TX is one of the best cities for Airbnb short-term rental.

2. Austin, TX

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$557,292 >11,000 33%

Thanks to its recent economic boom, Austin has recently seen a spike in popularity among tourists and real estate investors alike. This city is the cultural and business hub of Texas, making it a popular destination among tourists and businesspeople.

Besides being home to many famous companies and museums, Austin is also renowned for various festivals and events like the ACL or the Fall Pecan Street Festival. On top of that, the city has short winters and long, hot summers, leading to longer tourist seasons than in most other places.

When buying an Airbnb property in Austin, you should look for one in the following areas:

  • Close to popular tourist attractions like Zilker Park or Lady Bird Lake;
  • Near the city’s business hub where companies like IBM and Dell are situated;
  • Close to the city’s most famous universities like The University of Texas or St. Edward’s University;
  • In one of the popular city districts like Zilker or Downtown Austin.

Finally, friendly short-term rental regulations are one of the most appealing aspects of buying property in Austin. Unlike most cities in the US, Austin has more lenient rules on what properties can be rented out through Airbnb, which will make the entire setup process that much smoother.

Nashville as one of the best cities for Airbnb investing.

3. Nashville, TN

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$429,027 >7,800 63%

Nashville is one of the most popular and best cities for Airbnb investing, making it an excellent place to put your money in. The primary reason is that Nashville is the home to some of the largest music festivals on Earth (e.g., CMA Music Festival), and these take place all year round. On top of that, the city’s booming tourism ensures a high Airbnb occupancy rate throughout the festival season.

As many as 14 million tourists visit Nashville each year for its festivals and many cultural attractions like the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, and various historic sites. When combined with its renowned southern hospitality, it’s unsurprising Nashville’s Airbnb market has so much potential.

If you’re planning to buy a property and turn it into a short-term rental in Nashville, here are some of the neighborhoods to consider:

  • Downtown Nashville;
  • Music Row;
  • Germantown;
  • The Gulch.
Orlando, Florida

4. Orlando, FL

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$372,442 >3,500 27%

Orlando is by far the most popular city in the Sunshine State, both among tourists and US natives scouting for a vacation destination. That, coupled with Florida’s hot, long summers, makes it the prime place to invest in Airbnb properties. 

Orlando is home to various theme parks that millions of families visit annually, including Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. On top of that, the city’s central location within Florida means it has a great connection to other popular destinations within the state, like Miami, Tampa, and the Gulf Coast.

When scouting for properties to buy and turn into short-term rentals, we advise searching in the following areas:

  • Downtown Orlando (near the city’s business center);
  • Lake Buena Vista (near Disney World);
  • Kissimmee (particularly popular among tourists).

Overall, Orlando has a lot of tourist traction year-round, and properties there are more affordable than most of the US, making it the obvious choice for many Airbnb investors.

Milwaukee as one of the best cities for Airbnb investing in the US.

5. Milwaukee, WI

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$195,566 >1,000 60%

If you’re looking for a quiet and affordable city to buy an Airbnb property in, Milwaukee is likely your best bet. Unlike our previous four picks, Milwaukee is a remote town away from America’s biggest Metropolises, so it’s particularly popular with people looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Besides the above, this city has a few other things going for it:

  • It’s situated on the shore of Lake Michigan;
  • The city has a strong brewery heritage, making it popular among beer enthusiasts;
  • It hosts a variety of business conventions and conferences each year;
  • It is a quiet, family town with distinct and peaceful neighborhoods (e.g., East Side, Third Ward, Bay View).

But perhaps the biggest reason Milwaukee is a solid choice for Airbnb investors is that it’s affordable and beginner-friendly due to relatively low competition on the market. So if you’re just getting into Airbnb investing, this town is perfect for you.

Our CEO, Luka Malkovich, bought his first two duplexes in Milwaukee when he just started as a nonresident investor. Since then, he has built the NRI brand to share his experience and knowledge with fellow investors like you. So, if you need help finding a property for your next Airbnb investment in Milwaukee (or anywhere else in the US), NRI’s web of real estate agents all across the States can help you find and close the best deals. Why not hop on a short discovery call with Luka and tell him more about your investment goals?

Jersey City, NJ

6. Jersey City, NJ

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$578,416 >3,000 68%

If buying an Airbnb property in New York City is too expensive for you, don’t worry — Jersey City is the next best thing.

Being separated from New York City only by the Hudson River, Jersey City is a popular destination for tourists looking to visit New York on a budget. Thanks to its great transit connectivity with NYC and beautiful waterfront and views, there is enough demand for Airbnb in town to achieve incredibly high occupancy rates.

But the best part about Jersey City is that it’s not nearly as competitive as NYC, and there is still a lot of untapped potential in the market. If you’re looking to buy a property in this town, we suggest checking around the neighborhoods and locations:

  • Downtown Jersey City;
  • Journal Square;
  • Hamilton Park;
  • Newport.
Chicago, IL

7. Chicago, IL

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$291,186 >7,000 31%

Chicago, IL, is one of America’s cultural, business, and entertainment hubs. This city also has one of the largest international airports in the US, making it one of the best cities for Airbnb investing. 

Chicago has excellent neighborhood diversity, beautiful lakefront scenery, parks, and a thriving festival scene (e.g., Chicago Blues Festival, Taste of Chicago Festival). On top of that, the city is home to dozens of world-famous museums, theaters, and music venues like:

  • Field Museum;
  • Chicago Theater;
  • Art Institute of Chicago;
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra;
  • Steppenwolf Theater.

When you combine these attractions with the city’s moderate continental climate and location by the coast of Lake Michigan, it’s clear why over 48 million tourists visit Chicago yearly.

But the best part about Airbnb investing in Chicago is that it’s one of the more affordable Metropolises in the US. So if you want to get into a large Airbnb market with high ROI potential, this city is an excellent choice if you have limited funding.

Hialeah, FL

8. Hialeah, FL

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$430,47 >200 65%

If you’re interested in getting into a small Airbnb market with great potential, Hialeah, FL, is an excellent choice. This small city is located right next to Miami, making it a go-to destination for thousands of tourists and business professionals looking for an affordable alternative to staying in Miami.

The Airbnb market in Hialeah is small, resulting in high occupancy rates and excellent ROI potential for both beginner and seasoned investors. The city also has great cultural diversity and many beautiful neighborhoods suitable for short-term rental properties.

If you are considering investing in Hialeah, you should look for a dwelling unit in the following areas:

  • Hialeah Gardens;
  • Downtown Hialeah;
  • West Hialeah;
  • Leah Arts District.

Real estate in Hialeah may not be the most affordable, but its high Airbnb occupancy rates and low competition make up for it (especially during the summer).

Dallas, Texas

9. Dallas, TX

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$309,505 >8,500 32%

Dallas is a large North Texas city with many things going for it for Airbnb investors. The town is famous for hosting various conventions throughout the year, from business conferences to pop-culture meetups. That and the city’s growing technology sector make it an increasingly popular destination for tourists and business people.

Dallas is also home to country-famous venues like the AT&T Stadium and the American Airlines Center, making it one of the most sought-after sports destinations in the Southern US. When you combine all of that with Dallas’s moderate real estate prices and a large Airbnb market, it’s clear why it offers great opportunities for investors.

If you want to buy a short-term rental in Dallas, we suggest looking around the following neighborhoods:

  • Uptown;
  • Downtown Dallas;
  • Bishop Arts District;
  • Knox-Henderson.
Denver, Colorado

10. Denver, CO

Median Home Price Number of Airbnb Listings Airbnb Occupancy Rate
$563,324 >1,700 71%

Colorado is a beautiful US state brimming with national parks and natural wonders, and Denver is in the center of it all. This town’s mild climate and easy access to the Rocky Mountains make it a popular tourist destination year-round, which is evident from its exceptionally high Airbnb occupancy rates (~70%). 

Whether people come to Denver for skiing in winter or to visit one of its popular cultural festivals (e.g., the Denver Film Festival), there is a high demand for more STRs. So even though real estate in Denver is on the pricey side, investors can achieve high ROI thanks to the city’s booming tourism.

Here are a few of the best places to look for a property in Denver:

  • Capitol Hill;
  • Cherry Creek;
  • River North;
  • Lower Downtown.

Buy the Best Airbnb Property With NRI

If you’d like to get into Airbnb investing but lack funding, don’t worry — the NRI team can help you. Here at Nonresident Investor, we help investors find the best property deals on the market and secure mortgage and investment loans, even without credit score!

Our CEO, Luka Malkovich, is an Airbnb investor himself and has used the same techniques he teaches to grow his own investment portfolio. So far, Luka has bought and managed dozens of Airbnb properties all around the US, and he’d be happy to share his experience with you. If you need help finding the best Airbnb property or need help securing a loan for your first investment, why not jump on a free, 15-minute discovery call with Luka and tell him more about your investment goals?

 

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