8 Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate

Real Estate Offering Update: CityVest Has Launched Catalyst Access Fund With 20%-25% Target Annual Returns (Accredited Investors Only).

Real estate investment is becoming a more attractive risk profile. Take a look at our picks for the top 8 best cities to invest in real estate, and get ready to jump into the market. 

Best Cities for Real Estate Investing:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Atlanta, Georgia

Real Estate Investing Optimal Market

The optimal market to invest in real estate is based on the qualities of a location. To assess a market’s prospects, get an overview of the factors that make a city or market ideal for real estate investing. These include:

  • Population. The market’s existing population and projected growth numbers 
  • Pricing. The current levels and trends in the average rent and home prices in the market and how affordable they are given income levels 
  • Attractions. Popular local industries and attractive features that will draw tourism, students and/or permanent occupants into the market 

Best Investing Platforms for Real Estate

Real estate investing may involve buying real estate stocks or using investing platforms to simplify the process. Alternative investment platforms like Diversyfund, Crowdstreet and Roofstock give you the option of owning shares of commercial property, investing money in a real estate investment trust (REIT) and more. 

Get started by comparing the best investing platforms for real estate.

get started securely through CityVest’s website
Disclosure: Must be accredited investing a minimum of $25,000.
Fees
0.75%
Minimum Investment
$25,000
1 Minute Review

CityVest is a web-based real estate investment platform that was established to give small-to-medium-sized investors access to real estate investment opportunities that typically require 6-figure minimum investments. CityVest does this by pooling multiple investor contributions into 1 bundle large enough to satisfy the minimum investment requirements of the best institutional private equity real estate investment funds.

Best For
  • Individual investors seeking access to institutional investments
  • Experienced investors looking to diversify their portfolio
  • Investors seeking investments with strong due diligence and screening
Pros
  • Access to high-performance institutional funds
  • High returns
  • Intense vetting of investment opportunities
  • Third-party due diligence on all funds
  • No registration needed to review investment opportunities
  • Quarterly distributions
Cons
  • Only available to accredited investors
  • Not a lot of investor control of fund options
Get started securely through Streitwise’s website
Fees
2% – 3%
Minimum Investment
$5,000
1 Minute Review

Streitwise is a unique online real estate investing platform that was designed to give investors, both big and small, an equal opportunity to invest in real estate. At its core, Streitwise is a real estate investment trust, but it’s one of the few online real estate investing platforms that is available to non-accredited investors.

Best For
  • Investors looking to diversify
  • Investors with less than $200k in annual income
  • Passive traders
Pros
  • Consistent quarterly dividends
  • Low, transparent fees
  • Low investment minimum
  • Convenient and easy to use
Cons
  • Limited offerings
Get Started securely through Arrived Homes’s website
Fees
1% asset management fee
Minimum Investment
$100
1 Minute Review

Arrived Homes is a real estate investment platform that focuses on building wealth through investing in rental properties. While most real estate platforms and REITs focus on commercial properties, Arrived Homes focuses on single-family homes as its source of rental income.

This focus on smaller properties allows Arrived Homes to sell ownership shares on individual properties to non-accredited investors with buy-ins as low as $100. Learn more about Arrived Homes with Benzinga’s review.

Best For
  • Small- to medium-sized investors
  • Investors interested in rental income
  • Investors looking to diversify
Pros
  • Buy-ins as low as $100
  • Open to non-accredited investors
  • Offers ownership shares in real property (and all the tax benefits)
  • Multiple ways to earn dividends (rental income and property appreciation)
  • Great way to diversify portfolio
  • Open to self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
Cons
  • Long hold periods
  • No secondary market to liquidate shares
Get started securely through CrowdStreet’s website
Fees
1% – 1.75%
Minimum Investment
$25,000
1 Minute Review

Crowdstreet is an online real estate investment platform that lets investors choose from a wide range of real estate investment offerings to crowdfund. Crowdstreet investors are free to buy into managed funds, individual buildings or even build a bespoke investment portfolio that includes both kinds of deals.

CrowdStreet’s platform has a diverse range of property types, ranging from multifamily to office, industrial, self-storage and others.

 

Best For
  • Accredited investors
  • Long-term investors
  • Investors looking to diversify from stocks
Pros
  • User-friendly interface
  • Diverse investment offerings
  • Great investor resources
  • Proven performance history
  • Many offerings eligible for inclusion in self-directed IRA
Cons
  • Accredited investors only
  • Most offerings require a $25,000 minimum investment
Get started securely through Yieldstreet’s website
Fees
average 1-2%
Minimum Investment
$500
1 Minute Review

Yieldstreet is an online investment platform that specializes in alternative investment offerings designed to generate passive income and wealth for investors. The platform offers a 1-stop shop for a range of alternative investments ranging from real estate to structured notes and even art collections.

Best For
  • Accredited investors looking to diversify
  • Alternative investments to stocks and bonds
  • Investors looking for passive income
Pros
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Carefully selected offerings
  • Excellent mobile app
  • Full spectrum of alternative offerings
  • Options for non-accredited investors
Cons
  • Majority of investments only open to accredited investors

Best Cities for Real Estate

The Urban Land Institute and the consulting and tax firm PwC creates an annual list of the top housing markets for the following year. Their extensive report on Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020 places the 8 cities listed in the table below at the top of the list for the 2020 real estate market. 

Key investment data for each top real estate market is also listed in the table. This data includes population and projected population growth in 2020, average rent, average home price and the existence and type of popular industries that draw tourism or increase demand. 

CityPopulation(millions)/5ygrowth (%)Rent as % of income (%)Median Home price (000’s)STEM* IndustriesOffice Businesses**Goods Industries**Tourism**
Austin2.28/2.2%18.4$2961.71.10.91.1
Raleigh/Durham2.69/1.3%20.0$2391.71.01.01.0
Nashville1.99/1.2%19.6$2550.81.11.01.1
Charlotte2.66/1.4%21.0$2291.11.21.11.1
Boston4.94/0.5%30.7$4991.61.20.80.9
Dallas/Fort Worth7.81/1.6%18.2$2611.21.21.01.0
Orlando2.69/1.7%25.2$2450.81.20.81.8
Atlanta6.11/1.2%21.0$2071.21.20.81.0
* A STEM industry involves advanced training in the fields of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics and attracts a more highly-educated population.

** The industry location quotient measures industry employment concentration by market. This is computed by expressing the metro area’s industry employment as a percentage of the total metro area population and then dividing that by national industry employment to express the result as a percentage of the national total.

1. Austin, Texas

Austin is our top pick for 2020 real estate investments based on expected investor demand and a high projected population growth rate of 2.2% over the next 5 years.

A college town, it features a deep pool of educated talent, a popular and unique lifestyle and a strong commitment to support both businesses and real estate expansion.

Right now, housing is affordable but upward pressure on prices and rents is increasing. This suggests a good investment opportunity for a careful buyer, especially in the industrial, office building and apartment sectors.  

2. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina

Our 2nd choice for 2020 is Raleigh and Durham. There has been especially strong investment activity in suburban office buildings and multifamily structures, as well as in homebuilding.

This key North Carolina metro area has a projected 5-year population growth rate of 1.3% and a strong supply of educated talent from the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University, in addition to several small colleges. It also boasts the Research Triangle Park, an up-and-coming mecca for tech jobs. 

3. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville ranks 3rd among top real estate investment cities for 2020 due to its significant job growth numbers and attractive social options. The city has a projected population growth estimate of 1.2% for the next 5 years.

Although recent quick growth may tax Nashville’s infrastructure and the city’s affordability has suffered as housing costs rise, investing in this booming real estate market seems like a decent option for the coming year. 

4. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte comes in 4th place for 2020 due to its rising business prospects and 1.4% expected 5-year population growth. The city has taken strong steps to attract manufacturing and technology businesses to bolster its existing industrial profile, dominated for decades by banking.

Charlotte is also upgrading its infrastructure, although some improvements remain to be done, such as expanding its rainwater runoff systems. On the downside, housing costs have already risen, suggesting possibly lower investment returns and income than other top markets. 

5. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston ranks 5th on our list and has often been an excellent choice for real estate investments historically based on its strong and resilient economic performance. The city expects to see 1.7% population growth over the next 5 years.

The firmest real estate sectors in Boston are offices, industrial buildings and multifamily structures. These sectors tend to remain buoyant due to the city’s outstanding collection of universities and colleges that number in excess of 50 within the city’s core metropolitan area.

This situation attracts plenty of talent to Boston, and although affordability remains an issue, investor demand for its real estate market remains understandably strong.  

6. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area has an impressive expected population growth trajectory of 1.8% over the next 5 years and so it earns 6th position on our list of best cities for real estate investment. By allowing the perimeter of this already-large city to expand, land costs there tend to remain moderate. Also, demand for real estate in Dallas-Fort Worth by resident individuals and investors has yet to wane, and property transactions remain active in the metropolitan area. 

7. Orlando, Florida

Orlando is home to the popular Disneyworld tourist attraction and ranks 7th among our best real estate investment choices for 2020. While projected population growth is only 0.9% over the next 5 years, the city remains a strong buy in the multifamily and office building sectors.

The development or redevelopment opportunities and homebuilding prospects continue to be in demand. And a new rail link to Orlando from Miami should increase tourism flows to the city and could boost short-term rental incomes. 

8. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta places 8th on our list of top real estate investments in 2020 due to its strong transaction volume seen over the past few years and 1.2% expected 5-year population growth.

Atlanta’s unique culture, its urban core that is ripe for renovation and its mixed-use suburban developments have made the city an increasingly interesting place to live, although land, labor and building cost rises have put pressure on affordability.

Invest in Real Estate Now

The top 8 cities of 2020 are strong real estate investment sites. New real estate investment options mean you can dive into real estate and take a hands-off approach. Take a look at our recommended platforms to add real estate to your investment portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Are real estate investment trusts (REITs) a good option for me?

1
Are real estate investment trusts (REITs) a good option for me?
asked
A
1

An REIT owns, operates or finances real estate investments. It pools capital like a mutual fund to purchase commercial, multi-family and sometimes single-family homes.

REITs make it easier for you to invest because you don’t have to personally buy or manage a property. Buy the shares you can afford to get started in real estate now. Learn more about how to invest in REITS with our guide.

answered
Q

What factors should you consider when investing in real estate?

1
What factors should you consider when investing in real estate?
asked
A
1

You need to think about the location, population growth, job market and employers.

answered
Q

What are the best cities for investing in real estate?

1
What are the best cities for investing in real estate?
asked
A
1

Some excellent markets include Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee and Orlando, Florida.

answered

Accelerate Your Wealth

Arrived Homes allows retail investors to buy shares of individual rental properties for as little as $100. Arrived Homes acquires properties in some of the fastest-growing rental markets in the country, then sells shares to individual investors who simply collect passive income while waiting for the property to appreciate in value over 5 to 7 years. When the time is right, Arrived Homes sells the property so investors can cash in on the equity they've gained over time. Offerings are available to non-accredited investors. Sign up for an account on Arrived Homes to browse available properties and add real estate to your portfolio today.