The Top 5 Cities to Launch Your Airbnb Empire in 2024
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May 15, 2024

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Airbnb is as popular as ever in 2024 and continues to grow and adapt to the needs of its hosts and guests.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Airbnb revenue was up 17% year-over-year at $2.2 billion.

The key to your success as a short-term rental investor depends on numerous factors, including location.

Let’s look at the top cities for Airbnb, how to incorporate that into your investment strategy, and the considerations you should make to maximize your success.

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Is Airbnb still a lucrative investment strategy?

The short answer is yes, Airbnb certainly can be a lucrative investment strategy for those prepared to do the work.

Here’s why Airbnb is lucrative for investors:

  • Demand is strong, including for first-time bookers
  • Growth is continually expanding to new markets
  • Pricing is flexible and can be adjusted for seasons or local events
  • Airbnb operates worldwide
  • The platform accommodates a wide range of property types
  • Remote work popularity has increased the lengths of stay
  • Airbnb’s platform makes booking and management simpler
  • Reviews from guests and hosts enhance trust and transparency

As with any investment, there are several factors involved in the process that can make or break your success.

Short-term rental considerations for investors

To help you more effectively navigate your future Airbnb investment, consider the following:

  • Location: Properties in high-demand areas experience higher occupancy rates and can potentially charge more, but competition also may be more intense
  • Local regulations: Many cities and towns have implemented regulations that impact short-term rentals—make sure you understand these regulations before you choose your property
  • Operational costs: Factor in your cleaning, maintenance, utilities, insurance, and platform fees to make sure you can cover these costs without significantly impacting your guests
  • Investor flexibility: Are you willing and able to adapt to changing guest preferences, market conditions, Airbnb platform changes, and regulatory changes?
  • Overall strategy: Fully define your target guests and property type before entering a market to ensure you can comfortably compete in that space

How to choose the right Airbnb location

Most of your investment considerations center on location.

There are several key strategies you can adopt to help you choose the best Airbnb location for your unique goals and needs as an investor.

Do your research

Every sound investment begins with thorough research.

Consider the following location-specific factors:

  • Properties near tourist attractions
  • Areas near business hubs
  • The location’s seasonality (snowfall, flooding, hurricane season, etc.)
  • Cities with bans or restrictions on short-term rental properties
  • Areas slated for future development 
  • Easy access to transportation

Enlist the help of local experts like real estate agents or property managers to access insider tips and advice.

Conduct a financial analysis

Get a firm grasp of the rental yields in the area and compare your potential income against the property costs.

Then, check out the occupancy rates for existing Airbnbs in the area to estimate your earnings.

You’ll also want to evaluate how much existing and comparable listings charge.

Identify your target demographics

Are you targeting family vacationers? Business travelers? Couples?

Understanding your target demographics will help you zero in on the right property and location.

For example, family or business travelers may appreciate a busy, well-populated area with easy access to restaurants and public transport, while a newlywed couple may want a more secluded spot.

Consider the environment

Is the area prone to natural disasters? Does it offer year-round attractions?

Your costs, profits, and overall project risk can be significantly affected by the region you choose. 

Leverage real estate tools

Dig into Airbnb’s data on occupancy rates and pricing, as well as real estate platforms like Realtor.com.

Local government and tourism agencies also are a solid source of information for future development and tourism insights.

Top 5 cities for Airbnb investments

Hundreds of cities could be the perfect match for your next Airbnb property.

However, it’s helpful to get an idea of which cities are performing well for the platform in 2024.

Let’s look at the top cities for Airbnb, based on insights from Airbnb as well as local data on demand and rental income.

1. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is a highly competitive Airbnb market, but ambitious investors will perform well.

With average rents hitting $2,094 per month and high occupancy rates, this city draws in visitors from all over the world due to its beautiful beaches, famous attractions, and endless entertainment options.

2. Key West, Florida

Key West is a prime Airbnb location with its blend of historical sites, beaches, and vibrant nightlife.

It’s also one of the most expensive cities for renting with an average rent of $2,393 per month.

3. Traverse City, Michigan

For a more affordable Midwest location that still has the potential to bring in significant income, consider Traverse City. 

Located along Lake Michigan and known for its vineyards, Traverse City is a popular city both for summer beachgoers and winter sports lovers.

The average rental income for Traverse City is $1,363 per month.

4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is appealing to outdoor lovers due to its natural attractions, while its tech growth draws in consistent business travelers.

The average rental income for Colorado Springs is $1,296 per month.

5. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is known for its music scene and attracts visitors from all over the world to its conferences and festivals.

The city is widely appealing to tourists and business travelers due to its bustling economy and hospitality industry.

The average rent is $1,596 per month.

How to find the right financing for your Airbnb investment

Many real estate investors—especially first-time investors—don’t have the cash on hand to purchase an Airbnb property outright.

If that’s the case, they’re going to need financing.

Hard money loans from private lenders are the top source of funding for real estate investors due to the following benefits:

  • Fast approval and financing
  • Focus on the property value rather than the borrower’s income
  • Flexible loan terms catered to the investment

However, not all hard money lenders are the same. 

It’s important to do your research to find a lender with experience with Airbnb properties or similar types of investments.

Apply with Park Place Finance

Park Place Finance can help you build your Airbnb empire in your preferred markets.

We’ve funded over $1 billion in loans nationwide since 2006—and your project could be next!

Start your application online or call (866) 407-1599 to speak with an account executive now.

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