Foreign Nationals

Best places to invest in real estate in the US: South

By Milo

December 8, 2023 10 min read

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Best places to invest in real estate in the US: South

Embarking on real estate investment in the Southern U.S. demands keen insight, especially for foreign investors exploring this diverse and dynamic market. Encompassing thriving states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia, the region offers a spectrum of opportunities, from the tech-driven vibrancy of Austin to the coastal allure of Miami. This article aims to provide advice to investors through the Southern U.S.'s varied landscape, highlighting key areas and some factors behind their investment appeal.

As we assess the region's hot spots, we'll delve into crucial data points such as rental yields, property prices, and demographic trends. Understanding these metrics is vital in pinpointing the best places to buy rental property and in grasping the nuances of foreign investment in U.S. real estate. Whether you're seeking the least expensive places to live with safe investment environments or high-growth areas promising substantial returns, this exploration offers a tailored roadmap for navigating the Southern U.S. real estate market with confidence.

Evaluating real estate investment locations in the Southern U.S. requires a strategic approach, tailored to the specific needs and goals of different types of investors. Whether you're a high net-worth individual seeking expansive returns, a medium-income investor looking for stability, or a new or young investor aiming to build wealth, understanding key metrics is essential to your success.

Key metrics to consider when investing in real estate

Population Growth and Demographics: A growing population often signals a healthy real estate market. For instance, Atlanta, Georgia, has seen consistent population growth, making it a hotspot for rental demand.

Gross Rental Yield: This is crucial for assessing potential returns. Higher yields generally attract high net-worth investors seeking lucrative opportunities. Average Rental Prices: Cities like Miami, with higher rental prices, may offer more substantial returns, aligning with the goals of high net-worth and medium-income investors. Average Mortgage Payments: Lower mortgage rates in states like Texas make it easier for new investors to enter the market.

Vacancy Rate: Lower vacancy rates indicate a healthy demand for rentals. Cities with booming job markets typically have lower vacancy rates, appealing to all types of investors.

Housing Price Index 5-Year Growth: This metric provides insight into the long-term value appreciation of properties, crucial for medium-income investors focused on secure, long-term growth.

Median Home Sold Price: Essential for understanding market entry points, especially for new and young investors prioritizing affordability. Employment and Wage Growth: Regions with strong job markets, like Texas, offer stability, making them attractive to medium-income and new investors.

How real estate investors evaluate property in the U.S

High Net-Worth Real Estate Investors

Focus Area: Luxury Properties, High-Growth Areas Key Metrics: Rental Yield, Property Appreciation, Economic Growth Preferred Locations: Austin (TX), Miami (FL), Atlanta (GA) High net-worth investors often seek properties in areas with high growth potential. Luxury properties in cities like Austin, Miami, and Atlanta offer the dual advantage of rental yield and property appreciation, backed by strong economic growth.

Medium Income Real Estate Investors

Focus Area: Stable Markets, Secure Investments Key Metrics: Property Stability, Rental Demand, Local Economy Preferred Locations: Houston (TX), Orlando (FL), Charlotte (NC) For medium-income investors, stability is key. Markets like Houston and Orlando offer a balance of rental demand and economic stability, making them safe choices for long-term investment.

New/Young Real Estate Investors

Focus Area: Affordable Properties, Emerging Markets Key Metrics: Affordability, Population Growth, Job Opportunities Preferred Locations: San Antonio (TX), Tampa (FL), Raleigh (NC) New or young investors often prioritize affordability and potential for growth. Cities such as San Antonio and Tampa provide opportunities in emerging markets where population growth and job opportunities are on the rise.

Best places to invest in US real estate - south.png

By carefully analyzing these metrics, investors can make informed decisions tailored to their financial goals and risk tolerance, ensuring a successful venture into the Southern U.S. real estate market.

In-depth overview of the Southern rental property market

The Southern U.S. rental property market in 2023 has been characterized by several notable trends, impacting both the secondary housing market and new construction sectors.

Market Trends and Rental Price Increases The Southern U.S. has seen a dynamic shift in its real estate landscape. With mortgage rates and home prices remaining high, the affordability of homes has become a primary concern for potential buyers, leading to a significant shift towards renting. This trend is particularly pronounced among individuals earning over $50,000 a year, who are increasingly opting to rent rather than buy homes​​. This shift is largely due to the rising sale prices, which have made homes less affordable and out of reach for many potential buyers​​.

Home Prices and Inventory Home prices in the region, while slightly cooling off from their peak in spring 2022, remain elevated. The median sale price has more than doubled from a decade ago, reaching $386,527 in February​​. This high pricing, coupled with high mortgage rates, has led to fewer bidding wars and increased price reductions. However, the low inventory in the market is still keeping prices elevated. Fewer homeowners are listing their homes, primarily because they also face high mortgage rates when buying new homes​​.

New Construction Trends The new construction sector faces its challenges. Builders have been unable to keep up with the demand, leading to a drop in the number of single-family homes being constructed. Homebuilder sentiment declined throughout 2022, resulting in fewer homes being built. Although there is some optimism in 2023, the new homes coming up are relatively expensive, with few going for under $300,000. This trend reflects the broader issues in the housing market, where supply chain issues, high construction costs, and labor shortages continue to pose challenges.

Implications for Investors For investors in the Southern U.S. real estate market, these trends suggest a strategic shift towards catering to the rising rental demand. Investing in properties that appeal to the growing segment of the population who prefer renting over buying could be a lucrative strategy. This includes considering properties in urban centers or suburban areas with good amenities, as the demand for rentals is strong in these locations.

Best places to invest in US real estate - market trends.png Source: Stackers; NAR; US Census

The current market dynamics in the Southern U.S. present both challenges and opportunities for real estate investors. Understanding these trends and adapting investment strategies accordingly will be key to success in this evolving market. ​

Best cities in the US (South) for real estate investment in 2023

The most attractive cities for real estate investment in the Southern U.S. in 2023 include a mix of booming economic centers and growing metropolitan areas. Additionally, understanding foreign investment trends can provide valuable insights into market dynamics.

Orlando, Florida

  • Home Value Index: $367,034
  • YoY Home Price Growth: 3.7%
  • Rent Index: $2,130
  • Job Growth Rate: 4.0%
  • Population Growth (2013-2023): 22.39%
  • Known for its massive tourist industry and jobs for young adults.

Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Home Value Index: $377,936
  • YoY Home Price Growth: 1.2%
  • Rent Index: $1,999
  • Job Growth Rate: 2.7%
  • Population Growth (2013-2023): 15.78%
  • A business-friendly city noted for its continued growth and demand.

Houston, Texas

  • Home Value Index: $262,337
  • YoY Home Price Growth: 2.5%
  • Rent Index: $1,795
  • Job Growth Rate: 3.5%
  • Population Growth (2013-2023): 5.19%
  • Business-friendly, affordable real estate despite its size and wealth.

San Antonio, Texas

  • Home Value Index: $263,231
  • YoY Home Price Growth: 2.6%
  • Rent Index: $1,717
  • Job Growth Rate: 4.2%
  • Population Growth (2013-2023): 5.04%
  • Strong job and population growth, with a large military community adding stability.

Tampa, Florida

  • Home Value Index: $385,827
  • YoY Home Price Growth: 3.6%
  • Rent Index: $2,306
  • Job Growth Rate: 3.9%
  • Population Growth (2013-2023): 10.66%
  • Strong tourism sector and proximity to beaches.

Jacksonville, Florida

  • Home Value Index: $298,897
  • YoY Home Price Growth: 4.6%
  • Rent Index: $1,750
  • Job Growth Rate: 4.1%
  • Population Growth (2013-2023): 14.22%
  • Benefits from a business-friendly environment and strong healthcare sector.

Source: MarketCrashers

Real estate investment opportunities in the U.S. for foreigners (South)

The Southern U.S. attracts a significant amount of foreign investment in residential real estate. Key statistics include:

  • Top foreign buyers in the U.S. include China, Mexico, Canada, India, and Colombia.
  • Florida and Texas are among the top destinations for these foreign buyers, accounting for 23% and 12% respectively of the total foreign buyer market in the U.S.

The data shows that cities like Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, San Antonio, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Austin are prime locations for investment, with growing populations and increasing home values. The significant influx of foreign investment, especially from countries like Canada and Mexico, further emphasizes the attractiveness of these Southern U.S. cities for real estate investors.

Best places to invest in US real estate Florida Texas North Carolina .png Source: NAR


In conclusion, the Southern U.S. real estate market in 2023 offers diverse opportunities for investors. Cities like Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, San Antonio, Tampa, and Jacksonville stand out for their robust economic growth, rising home and rent prices, and increasing population. These factors make them prime targets for residential real estate investment. As each city boasts unique features, from thriving tourism to business-friendly environments, investors can tailor their strategies to align with their investment goals and the specific market dynamics of these locales.

FAQs: Frequently asked questions about investing in real estate in the US for foreign investors

What are the best places to buy rental property in the Southern US? Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, San Antonio, Tampa, and Jacksonville are top picks for their economic growth and rental market potential.

Which states in the South are best for real estate investment? Florida and Texas are highly recommended due to their strong job markets and population growth.

Where are the least expensive places to live in Texas? Cities like San Antonio offer affordability with strong economic prospects.

Which are the cheapest and safest places to live in Florida? Jacksonville and Tampa balance affordability with safety and strong community amenities.

Can foreign nationals from Canada and Latin America make money in real estate investing in the US? Yes, with Florida and Texas being particularly attractive due to their growing markets and international appeal.

How can young investors from the UK and South America invest in US real estate? By focusing on emerging markets with strong growth potential, such as San Antonio and Orlando.

What are the best US cities for Colombians and Brazilians to invest in real estate? Cities like Orlando and Houston, known for their dynamic economies and cultural diversity, are ideal.

How does foreign investment in US real estate work for investors from Chile and Argentina? It involves understanding local market trends, and property laws and often partnering with local real estate experts.

Which Southern cities offer the best opportunities for Venezuelan real estate investors? Tampa and Charlotte offer growth opportunities, with a balance of strong economic indicators and lifestyle appeal.

Are there specific advantages for Canadian investors in Southern U.S. real estate markets? Yes, especially in Florida and Texas, where Canadian investors can benefit from favorable exchange rates and strong rental markets.

The opinions expressed in the Blog are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product.


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