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30 Best & Worst Cities for Real Estate Investment

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Rising home prices in the U.S. spell bad news for buyers, but are a boon for investors looking to participate in the often volatile real estate market.

Some cities offer big opportunities for investors, according to, a personal finance news and features website, which released rankings on Wednesday of the best—and also the worst—cities in which to own investment property.

The rankings are based on a study of involving 61 of the 100 most populous U.S. cities according to 2015 Census estimates. Researchers evaluated each city by four main factors:

• Percent change in the city’s number of employed people year over year.

• Percent change in the city’s population year over year.

• Percent change in the city’s median home value year over year.

• Number of years it would take for rental income to pay off the median home value.

The study showed that potential investors would be well advised to look in Florida and Texas for real estate opportunities, as 6 of the top 15 cities are located in those states. At the same time, in four cities among the top 15, it takes 17 to19 years to pay off median home values based on yearly rents.

(Related: 15 Best US Cities for Retirement: 2016)

The Midwest, by contrast, is not the best place for real estate investments. No Midwestern city made it into the to 15. Several, though, populated the 15 worst cities list. Declining population pushed some cities onto the negative ranking.

Cameron Huddleston, Life + Money columnist for GOBankingRates, noted in a statement that growing populations in the top cities were fueling the need for more housing.

“That’s why these cities are such great places to own investment property now,” Huddleston said. “On the other hand, the cities at the bottom of our list have seen little-to-no population growth, so the demand for housing isn’t as high—which means real estate investors won’t do as well there.”

Following are GOBankingRates’ rankings of the 15 best and 15 worst cities for real estate investment.

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