Best Markets In The U.S. For Airbnb Investment

So you want to be an Airbnb investor — but where to begin?

Investing in Airbnb property can be hugely beneficial both in terms of turning a profit and securing a long-term, year-round source of income. 

However, where your Airbnb is located can significantly impact your success.

In this article, we are taking a look at 14 of the best property markets in the U.S. for Airbnb investment in 2023. Plus, we discuss the four key factors to consider before buying a property. 

Keep reading to discover which Airbnb markets you should be exploring in the US.

If you are also interested in the Airbnb market in Canada check out our recent article, where we discussed the best cities in Canada for investing in Airbnb.

4 Key Factors to Consider When Investing in an Airbnb

Before you begin your search for the perfect Airbnb investment property, there are a few important factors to consider first:

  1. Airbnb Occupancy Rate: Each city with an active Airbnb market will have an estimated occupancy rate that indicates what percentage of the city’s total Airbnbs are rented out at any given time. The average occupancy rate in the U.S. for short-term rentals as of 2023 is 56.4%.
  2. Average Price-Per-Night: When researching different cities, it is essential to take a look at how Airbnbs in this city are currently priced, as these will be your main competitors. Average pricing per night will vary depending on both where your Airbnb is located and what types of amenities you offer. The average daily rate of Airbnb rentals in the U.S. is $278.19. 
  3. Airbnb Regulations by City: Every city has its own regulations regarding short-term rentals, with some cities cracking down harder on such rentals in recent years. As such, always look into a city’s short-term rental regulations before purchasing an investment property. 
  4. Return-On-Investment: Using the Airbnb occupancy rate and average price per night in the city of your choice, you can roughly estimate how much money and profit you can make off an Airbnb in a year. This is an important calculation to use when purchasing a property, as it will help you determine how long it will take to make back the money you spent, as well as what return on investment (ROI) you can expect within the first few years. 

Top 14 U.S. Cities for Airbnb Investment in 2023

Choosing to invest in any Airbnb property is only the first of many important decisions to make.

Your next big decision is where to look for potential Airbnb properties, as well as assess how different property and Airbnb markets compare to each other. 

For each city listed below, we take a look at how they stack up as investment properties, looking at key information such as tourism and average property prices.  

Without further ado, here are the 14 best cities for Airbnb investments in 2023:

1. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is on the Atlantic coastline and attracts more than 7 million tourists annually. 

Here are some quick facts about the Charleston Airbnb market:

  • In Charleston, the average price of a single-family home is $535,000 and is trending upwards by 18.9% year-over-year, with 59 total neighborhoods in the city. 
  • Charleston was named as the most lucrative city for U.S.-based rental properties. According to Home Advisor, it takes just 4.72 days of renting a property in Charleston to cover the price of an average mortgage within the city.
  • Home Advisor further reports that Airbnb hosts make an average daily profit from Airbnb rental properties of $397.57 per day. 

2. Poconos, Pennsylvania

Poconos, Pennsylvania is located in the scenic Poconos Mountains. The Poconos Mountains draw heaps of visitors every year, averaging 27.9 million visitors annually.

As far as Airbnb investment properties go, Poconos is not a bad place to be.

Here are some quick facts about the Poconos Airbnb market:

  • Between January and June 2021, new hosts with only one listing made a total of $3.5 million, according to WFMZ 69 News
  • There are more than 1,000 Airbnb listings in the Poconos Mountains on Airbnb.
  • Mountain cabins in Poconos draw in hefty nightly rates, averaging between $1,000 to $1,200 per night for a cabin getaway on Airbnb.  

3. Slidell, Louisiana

Slidell, Louisiana is a city located just to the north of New Orleans, making it the perfect destination for tourists wanting to visit the famous region of the state. 

In Slidell, the average home listing price was $279,500 as of February 2023. The Slidell property market currently has more than 1,000 homes available for purchase.

Here are some quick facts about the Slidell Airbnb market:

  • There are more than 1,000 properties listed in Slidell on Airbnb.
  • Rentals in Slidell tend to be more affordable compared to other cities — including New Orleans — with an average nightly price ranging between $200 to $600 per night on Airbnb
  • The Slidell Airbnb market is best suited for visitors traveling to New Orleans that want a rental that offers a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

4. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee is known as a haven for outdoor recreation, as well as offering numerous attractions and cultural centers for visitors to enjoy.

From a tourism standpoint, Chattanooga attracts roughly 3 million visitors annually. 

Here are some quick facts about the Chattanooga Airbnb market:

5. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is another beautiful city on the Atlantic coast that welcomes more than 14 million visitors every year and generates more than $3 billion in visitor spending. 

As a beach town, Savannah is most lucrative during the warmer months of the year — however, the many attractions and cultural centers in Savannah make it a great place for year-round rentals.

Here are some quick facts about the Savannah Airbnb market:

6. Maui, Hawai’i

Maui, Hawai’i is one of the state’s stunning islands and is generally considered one of the quieter islands compared to the main hub of tourism, the island of Oahu. Hawai’i Guide reports that Maui draws in a little under 25% of the daily visitor traffic in the state. 

In 2021, Hawai’i as a whole attracted 6,777,760 total visitors over the course of the year, with visitors spending a grand total of $13.15 billion during their time on the islands.  

Here are some quick facts about the Maui Airbnb market:

  • The housing market in Maui is certainly more expensive than other locations on this list, with a median home listing price of $1.2 million.
  • Maui has an incredible amount of short-term rental properties to help accommodate tourists visiting the island — more than 8,000, to be exact.
  • The average nightly rate of short-term rentals is notably higher in Maui at $1,048 per night. 

7. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska is a top destination for outdoor recreation lovers and fishermen. 

While exact tourism numbers are not readily available, Kenai enjoys a hefty influx of tourism from cruise ships and travelers arriving by flight as well. The peninsula is close to the city of Anchorage, making it easier for visitors to the state’s capitol city to hop on over to Kenai for a few days’ stay. 

Here are some quick facts about the Kenai Peninsula Airbnb market: 

8. Crystal River, Florida

Crystal River, Florida — known fondly as the Manatee Capital of the World — is a beloved destination for animal and outdoor lovers alike. Visitors to this city can even take swimming tours to get up close and personal with the manatees that inhabit Crystal River’s waters.

Here are some quick facts about the Crystal River Airbnb market:

  • In Crystal River, the median home listing price is $339,500, with property prices trending up at around 13.4% year-over-year.
  • The average Crystal River Airbnb occupation rate is 41%, with Airbnb rentals earning around 3% in cash-on-cash return in this city. 
  • There are more than 1,000 homes in Crystal River, according to Airbnb

9. Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi is the second-largest city in the state, positioned along the scenic Gulf Coast. 

The coastal region of Mississippi draws in a significant number of tourists each year, with the city earning more than $138 million in revenue in 2021. 

Here are some quick facts about the Gulfport Airbnb market:

  • In the coastal region of Mississippi, the average occupancy for short-term rentals was more than 68% as of the first half of 2021. 
  • The average home listing price in Gulfport is $220,000, trending up at 15.9% year-over-year. 
  • Gulfport is currently in the midst of a debate on how heavily to regulate short-term rentals, with the mayor of the city recommending against further regulation. 

10. Joshua Tree, California

Joshua Tree, California has become a popular scenic getaway in the state, with the Joshua Tree National Park drawing in more than 3 million visitors in 2022 alone. 

Here are some quick facts about the Joshua Tree Airbnb market:

11. Malibu, California

Malibu, California — known best for the many celebrities that dwell here, Malibu is a renowned destination for sightseeing and luxury experiences.

As a whole, Malibu tends to be a more expensive location when it comes to investment properties. However, the pay-off can be tremendous with the right Airbnb rental strategy, as the target audience for this destination is often willing to spend more on short-term rentals.

Here are some quick facts about the Malibu Airbnb market: 

  • The median home listing price in Malibu comes out at a whopping $5 million, with property prices remaining steady over recent years with no notable upward or downward trend. 
  • With an average Airbnb occupancy rate of just 20%, what matters most with Malibu Airbnb properties is offering a top-notch experience that outperforms competitors. 
  • Malibu short-term rental properties that tend to be the highest in demand include those with high-speed internet, pools, and spas. 

12. Southlake, Texas

Southlake, Texas is a small city tucked halfway between the larger metropolitan area of Fort Worth and Dallas. With its proximity to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Southlake offers tremendous potential for Airbnb property investors.

Here are some quick facts about the Southlake Airbnb market: 

13. Nashville, Indiana

Nashville, Indiana — not to be mistaken for the city of the same name in Tennessee — is a small city in Brown County, best known for the historic Brown County Art Colony founded in 1907.

Since 2017, Nashville has brought in more than $40 million in tourism revenue per year. 

Here are some quick facts about the Nashville Airbnb market: 

14. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio is not only the state’s capital city but is also home to one of the most beloved sports teams in all of the U.S. — the Ohio State Buccaneers. 

Annually, tourism in Columbus generates more than $6 billion in revenue for the city.

Here are some quick facts about the Columbus Airbnb market: 

Final Thoughts

If you are planning on investing in an Airbnb property in the U.S., it is paramount to do your research.

The U.S. is a vast country with a wide variety of different destinations. Choosing the right location for your Airbnb investment journey is the first key step to building a profitable Airbnb business.

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