2019: Top 25 best places to buy a vacation home

Back patio and pool view of a vacation rental in Scottsdale AZ
Large vacation rental in Colorado

Buying a vacation home can be one of the most financially rewarding and personally enjoyable investments you’ll ever make. Many of our vacation homeowners invest in multiple properties, building a portfolio of revenue-generating retreats in some of the most sought-after destinations around the world. For others, a vacation home is just one special place that can pay for itself, as well as allow for visits throughout the year.

Our Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report was designed to help those actively in the market to buy a vacation rental home make an informed decision on where to purchase. Utilizing our unmatched market data, combined with deep local expertise focused exclusively on vacation rental destinations, our 2019 report highlights the best places to buy if you’re looking to maximize the return on your investment.

Top 25 markets for buying a vacation rental in 2019

Market

Median home sale price

Cap rate

1

$239,976

10.3%

2

$208,828

9.3%

3

$255,390

8.4%

4

$178,000

7.9%

5

$264,863

7.2%

6

$345,281

6.7%

7

$213,950

6.2%

8

$763,109

6.1%

9

$509,500

5.9%

10

$585,000

5.4%

11

$273,000

5.4%

12

$345,135

5.3%

13

$347,430

5.3%

14

$262,003

5.3%

15

$639,000

5.1%

16

$708,161

5.0%

17

$513,301

5.0%

18

$475,026

4.8%

19

$256,303

4.7%

20

$315,744

4.7%

21

$243,000

4.7%

22

$373,258

4.7%

23

$575,422

4.6%

24

$370,406

4.6%

25

$484,154

4.5%

Top takeaways

The Smoky Mountains are peaking.

Our number one best place to buy a vacation rental is Sevierville, Tennessee, nestled among the Smoky Mountains—and it’s not the only city in the region to make the list. Whittier, North Carolina, rang in at number four on the list of best places to buy, shining some extra light on the popular vacation rental destination that offers guests incredible experiences in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Florida beaches still reign supreme.

In 2018, a whopping nine markets throughout Florida ranked high on that year’s list of the best places to buy a vacation home. In 2019, Destin, Key West, Kissimmee, Marathon, and Panama City Beach landed on the list once again, proving that white sand beaches are still a major draw for travelers. Davenport and Cocoa Beach rounded out Florida’s top destinations.

Buying in Hawaii isn’t a pipe dream.

While they might be harder for mainlanders to visit, two cities in Hawaii made the list in 2019—double the number of Hawaiian markets on our 2018 list. Some destinations on the islands have incredibly tight regulations for vacation rentals, but both Kihei and Waikoloa are vacation-rental-friendly and boast cap rates worthy of an investment.

Mountains and beaches… but cities, too.

There’s much to be explored and adored in ever-popular beach and mountain destinations, but some travelers need a little more stimulation. Ranking cities Myrtle Beach, Fort Bragg, and Scottsdale offer fun downtown areas ripe for browsing, dining, and shopping.

It’s a great time to buy a vacation rental.

No matter where you are looking to buy a vacation rental property, it’s a great time to invest as more and more travelers opt to stay in vacation homes. If you’re a first-time home buyer, our handy resources can provide information on how to get started—and, of course, check out the rest of this report.


Our methodology

To determine its ranking of top markets, Vacasa analyzed home sales data in vacation destinations throughout the country, and overlaid it with actual performance data for thousands of U.S. vacation rental properties.




Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Louisiana L.L.C. (licensed in Louisiana); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 947-800-5979; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC, P.O. Box 283, Conway NH 03818, Dave Grant, Broker of Record; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan E. Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Colorado, 720-727-9358); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Tennessee, 615-671-9916); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island LLC; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Suite 600, Lahaina, HI 96761; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Rickie Miller, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC.

*This document is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to provide “investment advice” or a “recommendation” regarding a course of action. The discussion is general in nature and has not taken into account your personal financial position or objectives. You should consult a licensed financial advisor or other professional to discuss your specific situation.

Estimated rental income figures and home sale prices are based on historical averages; for any specific property, the actual revenue, purchase price, and cap rate may differ materially from estimated amounts and depend on a wide range of factors outside Vacasa's knowledge or control, such as the property's condition, layout, and furnishings; expenses associated with the acquisition and ownership of the property (such as property taxes, utility fees, HOA fees, insurance fees, and mortgage-related expenses); rental calendar availability; existing and future regulations; current and future economic, social, and political trends and conditions; and weather and environmental factors. These estimates do not take into account the potential impact of state income taxes.

Vacasa makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the accuracy of this document. Furthermore, Vacasa has no obligation to update, modify or amend this document or to otherwise notify users in the event that any opinion, assumption, forecast or estimate set forth herein changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on statements in this document.