Florida’s northwest Gulf Coast ranked #1 on the new “100 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental” report compiled by Rented Research and Weiss Analytics. The annual report – a guide for selling and buying vacation rentals – ranks destinations by the cost of ownership, short-term revenue potential, acquisition cost, annual appreciation, and projected changes in asset value.
The new 2020 report determined that Florida’s Panhandle offers the best returns on vacation home investments over every other market in the United States. The report also notes a “dramatic shift” in drive-to destinations and markets within two to five hours of major metro areas, which are seeing some of the highest returns in vacation home rentals.
“If you’ve ever considered buying an investment property at the beach, now is the time,” said Angela Ragsdale of 30A Real Estate.
“Even under normal circumstances, vacation homes along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A are a fantastic investment,” said Ragsdale. “But now people aren’t flying or taking cruises. They’re not visiting big cities, and they’re certainly not traveling abroad. They’re driving to the beach instead. And everyone knows there are no better beaches in the world than right here.”
“This year, our bustling global economy came to a screeching halt with the travel industry at the center of a near-collapse,” said Andrew McConnell, CEO of Rented, Inc., the company behind the new study. “Hospitality is still front and center, but it’s become clear that there is more to vacation rental investment management than finding a property and someone to keep things clean.”
With an index score of 98.7, Florida’s Panhandle emerged as the clear winner as the top vacation-home investment area in the U.S., even as the world tackles the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Florida, Siesta Key and Miami Beach also made the top 20. Out of all cities rated, El Paso, Texas, rounded out the Top 100 list with an index score of 13.9.
1. Florida Panhandle – 98.7 (index score)
2. South Jersey Shore, N.J. – 93.4
3. The Poconos, Pa. – 93.0
4. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee – 77.8
5. Central Texas – 77.7
6. Phoenix Metro Area, Ariz. – 77.0
7. Ocean City, Md. – 74.4
8. Siesta Key, Fla. – 74.2
9. Charleston Metro/Coastal, S.C. – 73.5
10. Hampton Roads, Va. – 73.3
11. Hudson Valley, NY – 72.9
12. Leavenworth, Wash., D.C. – 72.4
13. Inland Empire, Calif. – 72.1
14. The Adirondacks, NY – 71.3
15. Chattanooga, Tenn. – 70.6
16. The Hamptons, NY – 70.2
17. Columbus, Ohio – 69.9
18. Portland, Maine – 69.4
19. Miami Metro Area, Fla. – 68.6
20. Omaha, Neb. – 68.5
You can see the full list of 100 U.S. markets ranked here, and here are just a few properties currently on the market along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A:
5 Beds 5 Baths – 2,821 SQFT
Minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and world-class amenities in WaterColor, including the newly remodeled private beach club and Town Center in Phase 1 of WaterColor, this Florida Cottage is located on an incredible homesite maximized to take advantage of the outdoor living space and entertaining. Learn more HERE.
6 Beds 6 Bath – 4,815 SQFT
Enjoy Gulf views and breezes, the heated saltwater pool, the fire pit and a fireplace all in a private setting. Designed by TD Adams Studios and well-appointed with likes of Mitchell Gold, this home shows the attention to detail at every turn. Learn more HERE.
5 Beds 4 Bath – 3,354 SQFT
Designed by Geoff Chick and built in 2018, this 5BR/4.5 BA home rests on almost 3/4 of an acre along an ancillary of Western Lake with a private dock, a large pool with sun deck, a volleyball court, fire pit, grill area, a paddleboard/kayak launch and a large screened porch with an outdoor seating area. The beach and Gulf are a quick paddle or small craft ride away via the lake, one of South Walton’s rare and beautiful coastal dune lakes. Learn more HERE.
4 Beds 4 Baths – 4,647 SQFT
This home site sits alongside Little Redfish Lake which is one of the rare coastal dune lakes in this area. There is a private dock that sits on the lake making it convenient to hop on your boat for a sunset cruise or over to the sandy white beaches. The home itself features a reverse floor plan with the living, dining, and kitchen on the second floor to maximize your views of the lake and Gulf of Mexico. Learn more HERE.