Top 12 Best Places to Buy Vacation Rental Property in Florida

If you’re looking for a great place to invest in a vacation rental property, the Sunshine State should definitely be at the top of your list. Florida is the nation’s top tourist destination, making it one of the best places to buy vacation rental property in the U.S.

However, the real estate market in Florida is as vast as its beaches, and if you’re not familiar with it, you might not know where to put your investment dollars. So, where in Florida should you buy vacation rental property? Let’s find out.

1. Lake Worth

• Median Home Price – $203,400
• Price Per Square Foot – $199
• Occupancy Rate – 51.6 percent
• Monthly Rental Income – $1,560
• Cap Rate – 10.6 percent

It may not have Disney World or the allure of South Beach, but based on all of the most important metrics, Lake Worth is the #1 best place to buy a vacation rental property in Florida. In addition to having the state’s best cap rate, which is largely due to the city’s affordable property prices, this Palm Beach County city is home to a thriving local community.

With beautiful beaches, great shops and restaurants, and a price to income ratio that can’t be beat by any other locale in the Sunshine State, Lake Worth is an ideal place to make a vacation real estate investment in Florida.

2. Key West

• Median Home Price – $937, 028
• Price Per Square Foot – $723
• Occupancy Rate – 75 percent
• Monthly Rental Income – $8,675
• Cap Rate – 7 percent

Key West is a premier tourist destination, not just in Florida but across the country. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we have it near the top of our list of the best cities for buying houses in Florida. Its location and data speaks for itself. This popular tropical paradise personifies relaxation and luxury, both of which are in high demand.

In fact, the demand for weekly and monthly rentals is high, not just in summer but year-round. As a result, Key West vacation property investors can expect a great occupancy rate, high rental high rental income, excellent cash flow, and the joy of owning a little slice of paradise.

3. Daytona Beach

• Median Property Price – $253,282
• Price Per Square Foot – $172
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,451
• Occupancy Rate – 53 percent
• Cap Rate – 7 percent

Daytona Beach is another great spot for vacation real estate investment in Florida. This long-time vacation hot spot offers miles of beach, a ton of activities, and is home to one of the world’s most famous speedways.

From the sea and sand to hair-raising speed, a Daytona Beach vacation rental property offers it all. People from all over the U.S. and the world flock to Daytona Beach for motorcycle and NASCAR events throughout the year. With a high cap rate as well, it’s the perfect location to purchase a Florida vacation property.

4. Bradenton

• Median Property Price – $287,423
• Price Per Square Foot – $160
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,320
• Occupancy Rate – 54 percent
• Cap Rate – 5 percent

Bradenton is an ideal location for rest and relaxation, making it one of the best places to buy vacation rental property in Florida. Located across the Skyway Bridge from Tampa and St. Pete, its sun-kissed beaches are some of the best in the state and the city itself is known for its charming fishing piers, art galleries, and artisan shops.

Despite its location, home prices in Bradenton are affordable. Combined with its high rental income, solid occupancy rate, and good cap rate, the city is well-poised to provide you with a pretty nice return on your investment.

5. Tampa

• Median Property Price – $353,368
• Price Per Square Foot – $188
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,449
• Occupancy Rate – 50 percent
• Cap Rate – 4 percent

If you’re interested in buying houses in Florida to add to your vacation rental property portfolio, Tampa should be near the top of your list. In fact, in 2019, the Tampa area is one of the top 10 locations in the country to invest in. What makes it so attractive for investors?

For starters, it has plenty of affordable properties available in well-performing areas. Like many other locations on this list, it’s also a popular destination for tourists. From its beautiful beaches to its endless cultural events, Tampa is a great city for vacation rental property investment.

6. Orlando

• Median Home Price – $241,700
• Price Per Square Foot – $154
• Occupancy Rate – 59.5 percent
• Monthly Rental Income – $1,156
• Cap Rate – 1.46 percent

Orlando has been a tourism mecca since Disney World opened decades ago. However, the tourism industry isn’t the only thing Orlando has going for it.

An Orlando vacation rental property is also a sound financial investment. With median home prices growing by 10 percent year over year, demand for housing is high, which is good for your bottom line.

7. Gainesville

• Median Property Price – $263,213
• Price Per Square Foot – $140
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,444
• Occupancy Rate – 48 percent
• Cap Rate – 5 percent

Located 1 ½ hours north of Orlando, Gainesville is home to one of the Sunshine State’s liveliest college towns. The students in Gator Country give Gainesville a carefree and laid-back feel, but there is plenty to do too.

Aside from Gainesville’s many museums, cultural attractions, and vibrant nightlife, the area’s natural beauty is on full display with live oaks, springs, and crystal-clear rivers. With so much to offer, real estate investors with vacation rentals in Gainesville enjoy solid occupancy rates all year long.

8. Pensacola

• Median Property Price – $295,826
• Price Per Square Foot – $155
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,021
• Occupancy Rate – 60 percent
• Cap Rate – 5 percent

Pensacola is the kind of seaside retreat people come back to time and time again, which is why it’s on this list as another great place to own a Florida vacation home. Near the Alabama border at the tip of the state’s panhandle, its location, white sand beaches, and emerald waters draw vacationers from near and far.

Aside from Pensacola’s obvious draw, its beaches, it’s also a great sightseeing city steeped in history. That said, it’s also a modern city with lively people and a variety of restaurants and nightlife options. If you want to make a smart real estate investment, it’s hard to go wrong with this quintessential Gulf coast town.

9. Miami

• Median Home Price – $519,000
• Price Per Square Foot – $231
• Occupancy Rate – 64.9 percent
• Monthly Rental Income – $3,161
• Cap Rate – 0.89 percent

Miami is home to models and celebrities, but it also draws millions of vacationers each and every year. With robust tourism and one of the strongest economies in the U.S., the Miami housing market is one of the healthiest in the Sunshine State.

With so much to do and see in Miami, investing in a vacation property in this beautiful and luxurious South Florida haven will allow you to enjoy excellent rental income and escape to paradise whenever you like.

10. Lakeland

• Median Property Price – $257,173
• Price Per Square Foot – $122
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,244
• Occupancy Rate – 50 percent
• Cap Rate – 4 percent

Ideally located between Orlando and Tampa, a Lakeland vacation home provides the best of both worlds – Orlando’s theme parks and the Tampa area’s gulf coast beaches. As its name suggests, Lakeland is full of, you guessed it, lakes. In fact, about 10 percent of the city is covered in water.

Beyond its lakes and great location, Lakeland is home to many great restaurants, world-class museums, miles of hiking trails, and exotic wildlife. With a healthy average rental income and affordable property prices, Lakeland is a smart choice for any profit-driven vacation home investor.

11. Jacksonville

• Median Property Price – $303,877
• Price Per Square Foot – $153
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,119
• Occupancy Rate – 57 percent
• Cap Rate – 3 percent

For vacation rental property investors, Jacksonville offers the perfect combination of affordability and profitability. Jacksonville is also a unique vacation hot spot. With beautiful scenery, plenty of outdoor activities, many popular attractions, and big city living with a small-town feel, it’s no wonder Jacksonville’s occupancy rates are some of the highest in the state.

Not surprisingly, Jacksonville is also the largest and most populated city in Florida, and it keeps on growing at a fast pace. Thanks to its popularity, it’s projected to be one of Florida’s hottest housing markets in the years to come. This is good news for investors looking for a solid return on their vacation property investments.

12. Clearwater

• Median Property Price – $362,803
• Price Per Square Foot – $203
• Monthly Rental Income – $2,562
• Occupancy Rate – 55 percent
• Cap Rate – 4 percent

Last but not least, Clearwater is yet another year-round destination any vacation property investor should look into. Home to the #1 ranked beach in the U.S., this popular coastal community is in high demand.

Conclusion

With warm weather, world-class attractions, and miles of sun-kissed coastline, Florida is an obvious choice for vacationers and vacation property investors alike. However, with so many great vacation destinations, deciding on a location for your vacation rental property can be easier said than done.

Fortunately, having too many options is a much better problem than not having enough. That said, if you’re thinking about investing in Florida real estate in 2019, you can’t go wrong with any of the places on this list. With the right property at the right price, you’re destined to profit wherever you choose.