Friday, August 28, 2015

Investing in Real Estate - Where is it best?

Investor clients often ask me where it is best to invest in real estate, in the U.S.

This is a tough question, and there is no easy answer: it depends partly on the circumstances and needs of the client, whether the investor wishes to manage himself/herself, where you believe the best prospects for appreciation are, opportunity, future family needs?...

RealtyTrac puts out a good study on their web site (see "RealtyTrac study on rental condition") showing that the best performing markets for rental returns are:

Baltimore, Maryland:  24.82%, followed by:
Clayton, GA with 24.26%,
Wayne, MI: 21.08%,
Pasco, FL: 19.2% .....

The markets with the lowest return on investment are:

New York County, NY, with 2.34%, followed by:
San Francisco County, CA: 3.2%,
then Kings County/Brooklyn, NY: 3.63%,
Marin County, and close behind San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, at 4.31%
... and Santa Cruz County at 4.54%

Return on investment is defined in this study as gross return: rental price divided into the purchase price.  There is a lot more that goes into a more real "net" return: you have to take into account expenses, which include such costs as: - management company, - repairs, - vacancy, - taxes & insurance, - wear and tear on the house etc ...  More on this subject with this "net operating income" link, noted above.
This study does not look at the rental market from the point of view of someone who has owned a place there for a long time, just someone who would be buying right now, in the market as it is currently.  What I mean is that it does not take into account the appreciation of the asset in that location over time.  This can be a strong factor in the buying decision, and an unknown in the future.

Thank you for reading,

Trends: Local prices and graphs.
A noteworthy local non-profit event:  Coalition on Homelessness, SF - ArtAuction15