Best Cash Flow Markets for Southern States
6 minute read
June 28, 2024


The ability of a particular area to generate cash flow is a major factor in real estate investments. Cash flow represents a property’s net income after all expenses are paid. 

If you’re interested in property investments, conducting due diligence on the best cash flow markets is highly advisable. 

Once you’ve achieved positive cash flow, you’ve ensured a steady income stream, enabling you to cover costs, reinvest in additional properties, and ultimately achieve your desired financial growth.

What are the best cash flow markets in the South?

Many investors look to the Southern states for attractive cash-flow investment opportunities. 

Southern areas have lots of potential due to their robust economic growth, affordable property prices, and favorable demographic trends. 

Regions such as Texas, Florida, and Georgia have seen significant population increases and job growth, driving demand for rental properties. But which are the best cash flow markets? How can you determine which markets have the best cash flow potential? 

Check out these choice markets, curated just for you.

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Criteria for determining the best cash flow markets

When evaluating the best cash flow markets, several key metrics must be considered:

  1. Rental yield: This metric measures your yearly income (rental) as a percentage of the property’s purchase price—higher rental yields indicate better cash flow potential
  2. Occupancy rates: Consistently high occupancy rates are essential for maintaining steady rental income—areas with strong rental demand ensure that properties remain leased
  3. Property appreciation potential: While cash flow is the primary focus, potential appreciation adds long-term value to an investment—markets with rising property values can enhance overall returns

Local economic factors should also be considered:

  • Strong job growth
  • Population influx
  • Infrastructure development 

Additionally, efficient property management and manageable costs impact overall profitability. 

Investors should consider these elements to identify markets that promise sustainable and profitable cash flow.

Some of the best cash flow markets in the Southern states

1. Austin, Texas

Austin’s booming tech industry and population influx have become a hotspot for real estate investors seeking strong cash flow. 

The city’s thriving job market, fueled by major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Tesla, attracts a steady stream of renters. 

Rental yields are impressive; the gross rental yields for traditional long-term rentals in Austin range from around 7-12%, with higher yields generally found in the suburbs outside the city center. 

The yields for short-term/vacation rentals can be even higher, reaching 12-14% in some areas.

2. Houston, Texas

Houston’s diverse economy, which encompasses the energy, healthcare, and aerospace sectors, helps stabilize its financial foundations. This economic diversity supports a resilient job market and attracts many renters. 

The commonalities found in rental yield analyses for Houston are affordable home prices relative to rents, proximity to major job centers/drivers of rental demand, and good schools that attract families. 

Areas like Pasadena, Spring, and Friendswood offer some of the best combinations of these cash flow factors in the Houston metro.

3. Atlanta, Georgia

Compared to other major cities in the United States, Atlanta’s real estate market is relatively affordable, with lower costs for both purchasing and renting properties. 

This affordability factor enables investors to enter the market with a lower initial investment and achieve higher cash flow yields.

Many neighborhoods are experiencing above-average appreciation rates, allowing investors to access the dual-benefits rental income and equity growth.

4. Orlando, Florida

The common factors making areas like Casselberry, Kissimmee, and Maitland attractive for cash flow include: 

  • Relatively affordable purchase prices
  • High rental rates driven by job centers/tourism
  • Strong demographics like families or students

While competition is increasing in the area, pockets of cash flow can still be found, especially in suburban areas outside the Orlando city center.

5. San Antonio, Texas

The affordable entry prices compared to rents are a major draw here. 

Median San Antonio home prices are around $250,000-$320,000 in many areas, while rents average $1,200-$1,800 per month, depending on the neighborhood. This allows for solid potential cash flow yields.

High population growth (it is the 7th fastest-growing U.S. city) and strong job growth across industries like healthcare, military, and cybersecurity drive consistent rental demand. The military presence is a stabilizing economic factor.

6. Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida, is an attractive market for real estate cash flow investing due to its strong population and job growth, which are driven by a business-friendly environment and major companies relocating to the area. 

The city offers affordable property prices, significant rent growth, a tight rental market, and a consistent demand from MacDill Air Force Base. 

Additionally, Tampa’s tourism appeal supports both short-term and long-term rental markets. 

7. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah’s historic charm attracts both long-term renters and tourists and is an attractive market for real estate cash flow investing due to several factors:

  1. Strong rental market: Savannah benefits from a thriving tourism industry and a steady influx of new residents, sustaining high demand for rental properties
  2. Affordable property prices: Compared to other major markets, Savannah offers relatively affordable home prices for investors, keeping acquisition costs low relative to rental income potential
  3. Diverse property options: From historic homes in charming districts to modern developments, this variety caters to different investment strategies and tenant preferences
  4. Steady appreciation: While offering cash flow potential, Savannah’s real estate market is also experiencing steady home price appreciation driven by population growth and economic factors

Additional emerging markets in the Southern states

Smaller cities and regions in the Southern states also show potential for high cash flow. 

Examples include:

  • Birmingham, Alabama, which offers affordable property prices and steady rental demand
  • Greenville, South Carolina, known for its growing economy and attractive rental yields
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, which provides opportunities for investors seeking high cash flow in a stable market. 

Best cash flow markets for southern states: Conclusion

The Southern states offer some of the best cash flow markets for real estate investors, with cities like Austin, Houston, Orlando, Tampa, and Atlanta standing out for their strong rental yields and economic growth. 

Park Place Finance knows that thorough research and strategic planning are vital to identifying and capitalizing on real estate investment opportunities. 

We understand how local market dynamics, evaluating property management options, and staying informed about regulations and risks, investors can help you achieve profitable and sustainable cash flow. 

Send us your investment ideas or call (866) 407-1599 to speak with an account executive today. 

We can quickly provide a rate quote that can be your first step toward a more profitable future.


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