24 Best Places to Invest in Airbnbs in 2024 – Business Insider

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The 24​ best places ​for Airbnb investments in 2024

Helen, Georgia.
SeanPavonePhoto
  • AirDNA used home prices, occupancy rates, and revenue growth to rank promising spots for investors.
  • It’s a relatively tougher time for short-term-rental hosts, who saw revenue dip nearly 6% in 2023.
  • Many of the best places to invest in an Airbnb are small cities in the South near national parks.
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The short-term-rental market has been a rollercoaster for the last few years.

Pandemic lockdowns grounded travelers in early 2020, hurting owners, hosts, and property managers with listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other sites. But then, a hunger for adventure and a remote-work boom sparked record numbers of nights booked nationwide and demand for unique stays that has continued to grow. New investors poured in, hoping for profits, only to see increased competition from other new hosts and host revenue dip nationwide in 2023.

Some hosts called it quits.

“It’s the most overheated market I’ve ever seen in my career,” Peggy Gascon, a host in Phoenix, Arizona, with 30 years of experience in real estate, told Business Insider last year. Gascon flipped four Airbnbs that she owned for five years into long-term rentals in 2023, opting for the consistency of tenants with yearlong leases over the ups-and-downs of keeping rooms booked amid stiff competition.

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Still, many owners and hosts remain profitable. Take Montana host Ryan Villines, who saw revenue drop 10% in July 2023 compared to the previous year but was still able to rake in $5,900 that month. He put together a “romance package” of chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine to woo couples about to propose.

Some of the best places to invest in short-term-rentals today are in smaller cities near outdoor attractions, according to analytics site AirDNA, which ranks the best places for Airbnb hosts to invest each year.

AirDNA economist Jamie Lane told Business Insider that even though average host revenue dipped 6% in 2023, there are still places where short-term-rental owners can find opportunities. For its list, AirDNA considered locations where homes are relatively affordable but occupancy rates are still high: above 50%.

“It’s tougher and tougher to find them,” Lane said. “There’s not as many grand-slam deals.”

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AirDNA also highlighted spots that bucked the national trend to show growth in host revenue last year.

Many of the places that topped this year’s list of best places to invest in a short-term rental are smaller towns near coastlines and national parks, like Ellsworth, Maine, near Acadia National Park, and Port Angeles, Washington, near Olympic National Park.

Columbus, Georgia, the top-ranked spot, draws visitors with its whitewater-rafting courses on the Chattahoochee River. Average home values there hover around $160,000 — well below the national average of $492,300.

Increasing regulations on short-term rentals from New York City to Dallas have reshaped the investing landscape, and AirDNA factored new rules into their rankings. Take Marquette, Michigan, a town on the shores of Lake Superior, which initially ranked high among the best places to invest. But, Lane said, the AirDNA team removed it from the list because of its strict cap on short-term rentals.

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Here are the best 24 cities and towns to invest in an Airbnb in 2024, according to AirDNA, which provided all the data.

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24. Largo, Florida

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Largo, Florida.
Norm Lane/Shutterstock

Largo is an 80,000-person city in the Tampa Bay area that is home to the Florida Botanical Gardens as well as numerous beaches and parks.

Average home value: $440,764

Occupancy rate: 61.7%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 89.1%

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23. Bradenton, Florida

Bradenton Florida image

Lakefront homes in Bradenton, Florida.
John Coletti/Getty Images

Set on the Manatee River near Florida’s idyllic Gulf Coast, Bradenton has attractions including the Planetarium at the Bishop Museum and the Parker Manatee Aquarium.

Average home value: $454,413

Occupancy rate: 61.4%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 86.6%

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22. Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Getty/Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto

Home to the Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Surf Museum, Cocoa Beach is a quintessential Sunshine State destination on the Atlantic coast.

Average home value: $695,389

Occupancy rate: 66.3%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 80.3%

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21. Huddleston, Virginia

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Smith Mountain Lake Park, located near Huddleston, Virginia.
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An unincorporated area one hour east of Roanoke, Virginia, Huddleston is known for its proximity to Smith Mountain Lake State Park camping, hiking, and picnicking facilities.

Average home value: $608,882

Occupancy rate: 59.6%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 83.8%

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20. Oneonta, New York

Aerial view of fall foliage over Oneonta, New York image

Oneonta, New York.
Ruth Peterkin

A historic upstate New York town filled with charm, Oneonta is only 30 minutes from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Average home value: $210,615

Occupancy rate: 59.6%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 63.3%

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19. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Two horses walk through a mossy rock formation near Wisconsin Dells image

Horse-drawn carriages carry visitors through the Lost Canyon near Wisconsin Dells.
Jacob Boomsma/Getty Images

A two-hour drive from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells is a regional vacation hub on the Wisconsin River offering multiple water parks, including one that is Noah’s Ark-themed.

Average home value: $240,518

Occupancy rate: 55.2%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 94.6%

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18. North Las Vegas, Nevada

North Las Vegas image

North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Christopher Boswell/Shutterstock

Sitting right on the edge of the Las Vegas city limits, North Las Vegas offers easy access for visitors to Sin City. It’s also Nevada’s fourth-largest city itself.

Average home value: $384,973

Occupancy rate: 60.6%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 48.9%

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17. Helen, Georgia

Bavaria-inspired structures with half-timbered roofs in Helen, Georgia image

Helen, Georgia.
SeanPavonePhoto

Helen is one of Georgia’s mountain destinations, set a two-hour drive north of Atlanta. A model Bavarian village, the Chattahoochee National Forest, and the Raven Cliff waterfalls bring visitors back year after year.

Average home value: $384,973

Occupancy rate: 60.6%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 48.9%

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16. Fennville, Michigan

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Fennville, Michigan.
Chicago Tribune

Fennville is a rural spot on Lake Michigan with vineyards and orchards that attract visitors. Located two hours east of Chicago, the town has a population of less than 2,000.

Average home value: $309,423

Occupancy rate: 56.2%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 81.4%

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15. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

North Myrtle Beach Pier on a bright day with surfers in the ocean image

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
John Coletti

North Myrtle sits along 60 miles of uninterrupted beaches on the South Carolina coast. Located a 20-minute drive from downtown Myrtle Beach, it boasts the reptile-filled Alligator Adventure attraction and other theme-park rides.

Average home value: $594,919

Occupancy rate: 60.7%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 92.7%

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14. Beaufort, South Carolina

House in Beaufort South, Carolina. image

Beaufort, South Carolina.
Deborah McCague/Shutterstock

Located an hour north of Savannah, Georgia, Beaufort sits on Port Royal, one of South Carolina’s sea islands. Known for its preservation of 19th-century architecture, Beaufort attracts history buffs interested in its stately mansions and military structures.

Average home value: $346,580

Occupancy rate: 60.9%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 74.4%

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13. Anaheim, California

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Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
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Home to Disneyland and the Anaheim Angels’ baseball stadium, Anaheim is a fun destination for both Californians and visitors from farther afield.

Average home value: $867,724

Occupancy rate: 76.5%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 84.2%

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12. Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fernandina Beach homes at sunset image

Fernandina Beach, Florida.
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A 45-minute drive north of Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach is known for its pristine beaches hugging the Atlantic coastline and its Victorian-era architecture.

Average home value: $589,778

Occupancy rate: 61.5%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 90.4%

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11. Mineral, Virginia

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Lake Anna near Mineral, Virginia.
Aschen/Getty Images

With a population under 1,000, the tiny town of Mineral is located in rural Virginia, near Lake Anna State Park. Mineral is an hour northwest of Richmond.

Average home value: $699,268

Occupancy rate: 57.6%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 87.9%

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10. Fairbanks, Alaska

A sign saying -2 on a snow-covered main street decorated with holiday wreaths image

Fairbanks, Alaska
Joel W. Rogers/Getty Images

The second-largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks attracts visitors from around the world to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Average home value: $238,668

Occupancy rate: 64.8%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 54.6%

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9. Akron, Ohio

Skyline of Akron, Ohio image

Akron, Ohio.
Sean Pavone/Getty Images

A 40-minute drive south of Cleveland, Akron is a historic city that brings in 20 million visitors a year. Two notable reasons: Its museums and the historic Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, the grand estate of the Goodyear Tire Company’s founder.

Average home value: $145,322

Occupancy rate: 57.2%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 77.4%

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8. Port Angeles, Washington

Thin strip of highway stretches along green mountainside with snowcapped mountains surrounded by clouds off in the distance. image

Olympic National Park near Port Angeles in Washington state.
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Located at the foot of Olympic National Park, Port Angeles is a gateway to some of the best vistas in the Pacific Northwest. Visitors come for the mountain peaks as well as four temperate rainforests.

Average home value: $390,475

Occupancy rate: 64.3%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 79.6%

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7. Stanton, Kentucky

A massive natural-forming sandstone bridge stretched across the Kentucky forest image

Red River Gorge near Stanton, Kentucky.
Joshua Moore

Two hours west of Louisville, Stanton is known for its proximity to the Red River Gorge Geological Area, which has stunning waterfalls, and Natural Bridge State Resort Park, featuring a 78-foot-wide naturally occurring sandstone bridge.

Average home value: $146,471

Occupancy rate: 55.5%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 91.2%

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6. Winter Haven, Florida

A massive banyan tree with twisty branches and floating moss image

Winter Haven, Florida.
Bo Shen

A small city in the center of the Sunshine State, Winter Haven is known for its 50 lakes and their water sports. Winter Haven — population 50,000 — is also a prominent site for Major League Baseball’s spring training.

Average home value: $263,811

Occupancy rate: 62.1%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 80.7%

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5. Sneads Ferry, North Carolina

Sneads Ferry Boardwalk on a sunny day image

Sneads Ferry, North Carolina
Douglas Rissing

Sneads Ferry is a tiny fishing village on North Carolina’s coast that has doubled in population to 10,000 residents since 2000. A hub for the local seafood industry, the town holds an annual shrimp festival.

Average home value: $555,133

Occupancy rate: 62.9%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 89.7%

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4. Spring Hill, Florida

Weeki Wachee Springs florida image

Weeki Wachee Springs near Spring Hill, Florida
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Spring Hill is best known for Weeki Wachee Springs, a water park built around the deepest freshwater cave system in America. In addition to riverboat rides and paddleboarding, there is a famous live “mermaid” show.

Average home value: $388,681

Occupancy rate: 61.7%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 89.7%

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3. Logan, Ohio

Upper Falls Waterfall at Old Mans Cave Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio image

Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.
Bill Swindaman/Getty Images

A town of fewer than 8,000 people about an hour southeast of Columbus, Logan is a regional draw for its proximity to Hocking Hills State Park, which has 25 miles of hiking trails and sites including waterfalls and caves.

Average home value: $233,144

Occupancy rate: 57.3%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 85.7%

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2. Ellsworth, Maine

Cadillac Mountain image

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
Zack Frank/Shutterstock

Ellsworth is just a 20-minute drive from the mountains and coastlines of Acadia National Park. Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain is the first place to see the sunrise each day in the continental US.

Average home value: $324,672

Occupancy rate: 72.8%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 83%

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1. Columbus, Georgia

Columbus, Georgia image

Columbus is Georgia’s second-biggest city after Atlanta.
SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

The best place to invest in an Airbnb has both relatively affordable home prices and robust growth in revenue per available room. The second-largest city in Georgia behind Atlanta, Columbus is home to several museums and the longest urban whitewater-rafting course in the world.

Average home value: $160,657

Occupancy rate: 59.5%

Growth in revenue in 2023: 93.4%

Axel Springer, Insider Inc.’s parent company, is an investor in Airbnb.

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