Rented.com today announced its third annual report on the 150 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental Property in 2018, providing insights into the most profitable cities for rental property investment and how this profitability varies each year.

“The appeal of passive rental income is hard to ignore, but profitability from real estate investment hinges on careful consideration,” said Andrew McConnell, CEO of Rented.com. “The Rented.com report helps rental property buyers and owners understand the dynamics of the vacation rental market and narrow their search for the most profitable cities.”

The “Best Places to Buy” in 2018 includes a few repeats and a few surprises when compared to previous years’ reports. Among the top 25 cities, eight were listed on both the 2017 and 2018 lists, and six were listed on all three of Rented.com’s annual reports. The top five cities in 2018 included more urban cities than ever before.

The top five real estate markets with the highest return on investment (ROI) for rental properties in 2018 include:

  1. Panama City Beach, Florida
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. Napa, California
  4. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  5. Memphis, Tennessee

The ROI of owning a rental property is determined by comparing costs of home ownership to short-term rental potential in various U.S. rental markets. Factors influencing these figures include purchase price, insurance, taxes, maintenance costs, popularity of the destination, local rental rates, and more.

Trends in Vacation Rentals

The 2018 report found that lines between travel for business and pleasure are increasingly blurring as business travelers add leisure activities to business trips. This year’s top five cities include urban markets such as Chicago, Tulsa and Memphis, indicating a demand for short-term rentals outside of traditional vacation markets such as beach or mountain destinations. This demand can even outweigh high costs of home ownership.

Fifteen out of the top 25 most profitable short-term rental markets were located in the Southeastern U.S., likely due to a combination of reasonable real estate prices and regulations, and strong rental potential and tourism markets. Florida, Tennessee and Texas are the states with the most cities represented on all Rented.com reports issued to date.

View the full 2018 report for more market trends and details about how ROI was calculated.

Vacasa Co-Founder Cliff Johnson Joins Rented.com as Vice President of Sales

Cliff Johnson, co-founder of the leading tech-enabled vacation rental management company Vacasa, will join Rented.com as vice president of sales. In his new role, Johnson will be responsible for accelerating Rented.com’s growth.

“Cliff brings an unparalleled passion and expertise that will be invaluable as we continue expanding Rented.com,” said McConnell. “His record of successfully launching and expanding programs within Vacasa makes me confident he will have an immediate and positive impact at Rented.com.”

Prior to joining Rented.com, Johnson co-founded Vacasa with Eric Breon. Since its founding in 2009, the pair grew the company from a vacation rental booking service to the second largest vacation rental management company in the United States, with more than 8,000 homes under management across 20 states and 15 countries.

“Rented.com is on an exciting trajectory with a number of opportunities to expand our presence around the world,” said Johnson. “I look forward to applying my experience in this market to help Rented.com achieve its growth plans.”

Beyond his contributions at Vacasa, Johnson has served on the board of MAPLE Microdevelopment, VirtualKey, Tripgrid, Dweller, and the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA). As part of his move to Rented.com, Johnson will step down from the VRMA board, but he will remain actively involved in several committees and will likely run again as a vendor board member in the future.

Johnson has individually been recognized as a member of the Portland 40 under 40 class of 2016, as a distinguished alumni award from Drury University in 2015, and received the Young Lawyers chair from Boston University in 2016. He is a strong believer in social entrepreneurship and has mentored several up-and-coming entrepreneurs that have a purpose beyond financial returns.

About Rented.com

Rented.com believes vacation homeowners should expect more from their second homes: consistent income, professional care and guaranteed use. Rented.com ensures owners get all of this and more thanks to its dedicated Rented Capital Fund, which provides guaranteed income to homeowners while at the same time placing those homes in the care of the best rental managers in the world via Rented.com’s one of a kind marketplace. Founded in 2012, Rented.com includes assets listed on 6 continents, more than 500,000 rental weeks listed, and more than 1,000 professional managers from companies like Vacasa, TurnKey, and Oasis. The company was honed at The Startup Factory accelerator program, won PhoCusWright’s Most Innovative Startup Award, was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Georgia by the Technology Association of Georgia, and currently works out of Georgia Tech’s Technology Business Incubator, ATDC, in Midtown Atlanta. Learn more at Rented.com and follow us on Twitter @rentedcom.

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