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Home · Property Management · Real Estate Investing : Investing in a Vacation Rental Home? Start at the Beach

The advent of online rental firms like Airbnb has changed the way many people think about vacations. Renting a vacation house for a week or two offers good value and doesn’t tie people to a single second home.

While renting a house at the beach or in the mountains for a vacation has been around for at least decades, the number of rental properties in these locations is growing. If you are considering purchasing a vacation home to use as an investment, you want to get the best return you can for that investment.

Vacation rental manager Vacasa has fashioned a list of the top 25 U.S. locations for buying a vacation rental property. The firm analyzed historical home sales in high-density vacation rental markets then factored in the gross rental income less typical operating costs for vacation rental properties in each given region. By comparing each region’s net operating income with the cost of buying a home, Vacasa created a picture of each vacation rental market’s aggregate capitalization rate, or cap rate*, and used it to order its list of the top 25 vacation rental markets.

The firm also offers these tips if you are shopping for a vacation home:

It’s a great time to buy Even though the word is out and more people than ever before are investing in vacation rentals, there are still plenty of affordable areas to buy a vacation home.

More markets are extending their booking seasons Growing rental demand and improved guest experiences such as online booking and hotel quality amenities have led to many vacation rental markets extending their seasons. As booking seasons expand, so does occupancy, effectively increasing revenue for vacation homeowners. Buying low in a 1-2 season market that shows potential to become a 3-4 season market is likely to pay off down the road.

Going big can pay off To maximize [return on investment], consider investing in large vacation homes that make good family rentals, but don’t have much demand as primary residences. For example, seven-bedroom homes make great income-generating properties, but there’s little demand for these homes because seven-bedrooms is more than most families need as a primary residence.

Here are Vacasa’s top 10 markets along with the median home sales price and Vacasa’s cap rate. Visit the firm’s website for the full list of 25 top markets.

Forgotten Coast, Florida >Median price: $336,900
>Cap rate: 9.6%

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee >Median price: $231,100
>Cap rate: 8.1%

Kissimmee, Florida >Median price: $253,400
>Cap rate: 7.1%

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina >Median price: $251,000
>Cap rate: 6.9%

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina >Median price: $423,500
>Cap rate: 6.8%

Emerald Coast, Florida >Median price: $397,400
>Cap rate: 6.5%

Ocean City, Maryland >Median price: $291,100
>Cap rate: 6.5%

Okemo/Ludlow, Vermont >Median price: $273,600
>Cap rate: 6.1%

North Kona, Hawaii >Median price: $543,900
>Cap rate: 6.1%

Lake Chelan, Washington >Median price: $388,600
>Cap rate: 6%



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