7 Best Cities in Florida for Real Estate Investing

This is a complete analysis on the best cities in Florida for real estate investing.

Based on market data with source links.

Learn where to buy the most profitable investment properties, short term rentals and flip homes.

Let’s jump right in.

Here are the best cities in Florida to buy an investment property:

  1. Fort Lauderdale
  2. Jacksonville
  3. Miami
  4. Panama City
  5. Tampa
  6. Sarasota
  7. St. Petersburg

7 Best Cities in Florida for Investing

Fort Lauderdale

Known for its prime location along the southeastern coast, Fort Lauderdale is synonymous with beautiful beaches and curving canals. For Florida real estate investors, however, “Venice of America” is also considered one of the best cities to capture steady rental income due to the growing population, non-competitive real estate market, and the high demand for rental properties.

A popular tourist destination, Fort Lauderdale provides numerous investment opportunities for both long- and short-term rental properties. The robust economy mixed with a vibrant entertainment district will encourage more people to make their way to the coast, yet, the elevated cost of homeownership (prices up 4.7% compared to a year ago) will have many choosing a rental property over purchasing.

Real estate investors with available capital can make the most of the current real estate market in Fort Lauderdale, finding quality residential or commercial properties and even higher quality tenants.

1 bedroom rent: $1,950 (-2% YoY)
Median days on the market: 63
Median home price: $502,500 (+4.7%)
Homes sold above list: 10.7%
Rental market data | Housing market data


Where cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa may pique the interest of real estate investors for their popularity for vacationers, those seeking investment properties for long-term rentals will want to take a closer look at Jacksonville. A solid economy thanks to established industries partnered with the steady uptick of new residents has Jacksonville boasting major benefits for investors.

Both cash flow and property appreciation make their way to the top of the list of real estate investment pros, along with lower-cost real estate and high rental income potential. Plus with nearly half (44%) of the local housing market being renter-occupied units, the demand for rental housing doesn’t appear to be dying down. Drawn in by the expanding job market and overall affordability, new residents can expect an outstanding quality of life and investors can expect an ideal location to invest in real estate.
1 bedroom rent: $1,442 (+10% YoY)
Median days on the market: 47
Median home price: $311,495 (+7.4%)
Homes sold above list: 14.9%
Rental market data | Housing market data


Miami is another one of Florida’s exciting cities that presents a lucrative venture to Florida real estate investors. Often referred to as the “Magic City,” Miami boasts cultural richness and an unique nightlife, one that draws in vacationers from around the globe at a rate of 26.5 million people annually. This stat alone makes real estate investment in short term properties an exciting prospect for many Florida investors.

As the real estate market currently sits in “buyers market” status, both local and out of state investors are turning their sights to the many advantages that owning in a city such as Miami offers. A chance for steady and impressive rental income are complimented by property values continuing their steady appreciation.

1 bedroom rent: $2,726 (-9% YoY)
Median days on the market: 69
Median home price: $570,000 (+11.8%)
Homes sold above list: 9.9%
Rental market data | Housing market data

Panama City

Found along the Emerald Coast, Panama City is one of the panhandle’s best investment opportunities, particularly for buyers interested in beachfront condos and or a stunning coastal property. The short term rental market is booming due the desirability of this vacation destination, and with many visitors happily spending during their stay, economic growth is a welcome result.

Purchasing a potential rental property in Panama City, despite its sought-after locale, is exceptionally attainable with the median listing home price sitting around $320K, which is considerably lower than the national average, which was approximately $410K.

1 bedroom rent: $1,470 (+8% YoY)
Median days on the market: 63
Median home price: $279,900 (-8.2%)
Homes sold above list: 14.9%
Rental market data | Housing market data


For “out-of-state-ers”, the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Florida is the world’s most popular theme parks. Whether its a trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth”, or time spent at one of the area’s other exciting parks, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t automatically make the connection.

This is just one of the reasons that potential investors consider purchasing a rental property in Tampa. Not only does the Gulf Coast city boast a wide assortment of job opportunities, over half of the local housing market units are renter-occupied and average rental rates are slightly higher than the national average.

1 bedroom rent: $1,608 (-2% YoY)
Median days on the market: 35
Median home price: $416,250 (+14.8%)
Homes sold above list: 14.4%
Rental market data | Housing market data


Venturing slightly south of Tampa, Sarasota continues the area’s trend of being an ideal real estate investment location. Once the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus, the city is now known as the gateway to miles upon miles of white sand and glistening water. The community draws in visitors and prospective residents from all over, ranging from young professionals to those looking to call the Sunshine state home. The wide assortment of property types, which include single family and multi family homes, allows for rental properties to come in all shapes and sizes.

Healthy projected economic growth, the lack of personal income tax, a seemingly never ending list of things to see and do, and the enjoyable life Florida offers are among the many reasons Sarasota is a prime investment opportunity.

1 bedroom rent: $2,226 (-4% YoY)
Median days on the market: 17
Median home price: $950,000 (+140.5%)
Homes sold above list: 40.6%
Rental market data | Housing market data

St. Petersburg

Last, but certainly not least, to make it on the list of great places to invest in real estate in Florida is the Sunshine City, more commonly known as St. Petersburg. Like many of the major cities throughout Florida, St. Petersburg is graced with miles of idyllic coastline, making it a top choice for water enthusiasts.

The warm weather, unobstructed water views and award-winning beaches play a considerable role in overall home prices as more and more people are flocking to the paradisiacal city either temporarily or permanently. For investors, this translates to a somewhat competitive housing market, where the median home price hovers around $400K, a 2.0% increase from last year. This also means that an influx of new businesses will cater to the increasing population, resulting in a growing economy.

1 bedroom rent: $1,907 (-15% YoY)
Median days on the market: 38
Median home price: $400,000 (+1.3%)
Homes sold above list: 13.8%
Rental market data | Housing market data

Is Florida good for real estate investing?

There are several reasons why the Sunshine State should be one of the first places to consider for real estate investments. Influencing factors go well beyond the amazing weather and scenic landscape, encompassing anticipated population growth, positive economic outlook, affordable housing, and favorable tax laws.

Projected Population Growth

Florida has consistently experienced strong population growth over the years. Many people are attracted to the state when opting to move, whether that be for retirement purposes or thanks to the influx of remote jobs. Projected population growth can create a steady demand for housing, both for permanent residents and seasonal visitors, both considered a plus for real estate investors.

Positive Economic Outlook

The economy in Florida has been diversifying beyond just tourism and agriculture becoming a hub for various industries, including technology, healthcare, finance, and aerospace. With a forecasted economic growth of 3.0% in 2024 (vs. the national average of 1.4%) the expanding job market will drive demand for housing in the state.

Favorable Tax Laws

As far as taxes go, Florida remains one of the best places for real estate investors hoping to avoid state income tax. The absence of personal income tax is a perk for savvy investors and potential residents looking to reduce their tax burden.

These are just a few of the reasons a Florida investment property has continuously been an attractive option for individuals looking to buy a residential rental property. However, since the Sunshine State spans a generous 65,757 square miles, knowing where to set your sights to boost your real estate portfolio will matter.

Best Tips for Real Estate Investing in Florida

Before venturing into the Florida real estate market, there are considerations that should be made to make sure that your investment property is set to provide a healthy ROI.

1. Define your Investment Goals

Knowing what your investment goals are prior to buying your next investment property is a must. Are you in the market for short term rentals? Only worried about long term appreciation? Hoping to maximize your rental income potential? These are just a taste of the many questions that you’ll want to answer before beginning the journey of real estate investments.

2. Consider the Local Market

As with any real estate investment, it is imperative to consider the condition of the local real estate market. As a whole, Florida real estate investing is deemed a smart choice, there are always extenuating circumstances that can drastically influence the outcome.

Experienced investors will suggest a deep dive into market research, taking note of property values and their trends, average rent prices and potential cash flow, vacancy rates, property taxes, and the likes.

3. Work with a Professional

Nothing beats real life experience, and that is why working with knowledgeable, local real estate agents is a wise choice – especially for out of state investors. The quickest way not only to find your next investment property, but make sure it aligns with your investment goals, is to speak with professionals. Not only are realtors an invaluable resource, they will also assist throughout your real estate transaction, advocating on your behalf if necessary.

4. Be Patient

It may be tempting to jump on the first rental property that catches your eye, however, patience is key when it comes to real estate investments. Knowing when a property is not right for your real estate portfolio can be just as important as knowing when it is. Taking your time, ensuring your financial and investment goals align and doing the proper research will help make your Florida real estate investment a success.