15 Best Cities to Own a Vacation Rental

goodluz /

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Thanks to vacation rental marketplaces like Airbnb and Vrbo, anyone can make extra money by renting out to travelers an empty room, a mother-in-law’s room, or an entire house.

According to market analysis firm AllTheRooms, in the US, short-term rental servers can bring in an average of more than $44,000 per year. But as with all real estate investments, your income potential is highly dependent on where you buy your vacation rental property.

To help you find the right location for your future bed and breakfast, LawnStarter ranked the Best Cities to Own a Vacation Rental in 2022.

We compared nearly 190 of the largest US cities based on revenue potential, initial investment costs, and average costs. We also take into account guest entertainment options, public safety and climate.

Check out the top cities to own a vacation rental below.

1. Miami, Florida

meunierd /

Total score: 67.18

Revenue potential ranking: first

Initial investment rating: 138

High ranking: 22

Entertainment Rating: 7

Safety Rating: 146

Climate Rating: forty six

2. New York, NY

Snowy weather in Times Square Manhattan
kmichal /

Total score: 66.98

Revenue potential ranking: 4

Initial investment rating: 154

High ranking: 115

Entertainment Rating: first

Safety Rating: 68

Climate Rating: 56

3. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 photography /

Total score: 60.49

Revenue potential ranking: 7

Initial investment rating: 99

High ranking: 39

Entertainment Rating: ten

Safety Rating: 109

Climate Rating: 55

4. Cincinnati, OH

Anne Kitzman /

Total score: 59.20

Revenue potential ranking: 2

Initial investment rating: 88

High ranking: 51

Entertainment Rating: 41

Safety Rating: 120

Climate Rating: 96

5. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, Nevada
Kobby Dagan /

Total score: 58.99

Revenue potential ranking: 26

Initial investment rating: 81

High ranking: 70

Entertainment Rating: 4

Safety Rating: 18

Climate Rating: 163

6. Dayton, OH

Dayton Ohio
Alex Balanov /

Total score: 58.53

Revenue potential ranking: 9

Initial investment rating: 29

High ranking: twelfth

Entertainment Rating: 105

Safety Rating: 51

Climate Rating: 102

7. Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Ilya images /

Total score: 57.57

Revenue potential ranking: 14

Initial investment rating: 63

High ranking: ninety four

Entertainment Rating: 24

Safety Rating: 15

Climate Rating: 57

8. Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, Tennessee
Kevin Ruck /

Total score: 57.56

Revenue potential ranking: 49

Initial investment rating: 25

High ranking: 7

Entertainment Rating: 50

Safety Rating: 78

Climate Rating: 68

9. Orlando, FL

Orlando Florida
songquan-deng /

Total score: 57.29

Revenue potential ranking: 53

Initial investment rating: 37

High ranking: 41

Entertainment Rating: 8

Safety Rating: 143

Climate Rating: 71

10. Augusta, GA

Sean Pavone /

Total score: 57.18

Revenue potential ranking: 20

Initial investment rating: 16

High ranking: 15

Entertainment Rating: 118

Safety Rating: 69

Climate Rating: 119

11. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, Virginia at night.
Jon Bilous /

Total score: 56.24

Revenue potential ranking: 6

Initial investment rating: 66

High ranking: 146

Entertainment Rating: 43

Safety Rating: 19

Climate Rating: 52

12. Nashville, TN

Nashville, Tennessee
jdross75 /

Total score: 56.14

Revenue potential ranking: 8

Initial investment rating: 95

High ranking: 81

Entertainment Rating: 19

Safety Rating: 126

Climate Rating: 99

13. Hialeah, Florida

Hialeah, Florida

Total score: 56.12

Revenue potential ranking: 51

Initial investment rating: 138

High ranking: 2

Entertainment Rating: 178

Safety Rating: 96

Climate Rating: forty six

14. Winston-Salem, NC

Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Sean Pavone /

Total score: 56.04

Revenue potential ranking: 33

Initial investment rating: 80

High ranking: 37

Entertainment Rating: 83

Safety Rating: 11

Climate Rating: 80

15. Eugene, OR

Eugene, Oregon
Sean Pavone /

Total score: 56.02

Revenue potential ranking: ten

Initial investment rating: 120

High ranking: sixty seven

Entertainment Rating: 74

Safety Rating: 48

Climate Rating: 45


Plan your trip with paper maps
gpointstudio /

For each of the 200 largest US cities, we collect publicly available data on the factors listed below.

We then grouped those factors into six categories: Revenue Potential, Initial Investment, Cost, Recreation, Safety, and Climate.

We removed all cities – 11 cities in total – missing important data, resulting in a final sample of 189 cities.

Next, we calculate a weighted score for each remaining city in each category. Finally, we calculate the average score for each subway across all categories.

The city with the highest average score is rated “Best” (no. 1), while the city with the lowest score is rated “Worst” (no. 189).

These are the factors we considered:

  • Occupancy rate for the last 12 months
  • Average daily short-term rental rate for the past 12 months
  • Revenue for the last 12 months
  • Average list price per square foot
  • 1-year change in average list price per square foot
  • Average annual property tax
  • Average household spending on housekeeping services
  • Average Spending Per Household on Lawn and Garden Services
  • Average spending per household on home improvement
  • Average household spending on utilities, fuel and public services
  • Number of attractions
  • Crime Index
  • Natural Hazard Index
  • Number of extremely hot days every year in history
  • Average annual number of extremely cold days in history

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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