Florida Rental Property

Best Rental Markets in Florida

The best rental markets in Florida are some of the best in the United States. There are a few reasons for this distinction.

First, Florida is currently experiencing rapid population growth. People are drawn to The Sunshine State’s famously warm weather, beaches, and favorable tax laws. Second, there are abundant employment opportunities — some of the best in the country can be found in Florida.

And for investors, when it comes to landlord-tenant laws, Florida features some of the strongest landlord protection in the country. What this all adds up to is a great opportunity for investors to grow their portfolios in one of the fastest-growing states in the country. 

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Florida Rental Trends

While demand for Florida real estate remains high, rent prices among some of the best rental markets in Florida have dipped. Florida Realtors reports that Palm Bay rents decreased by 0.29% month over month, followed by Orlando at -0.28%, Tampa at -12%, and Miami at -0.11%. 

On the plus side, some Florida rental markets have witnessed increases. Those cities, again as reported by Florida Realtors, include rent increases in North Port at 0.15%, Lakeland at 0.16%, Deltona at 0.4%, and Cape Coral at 0.55%. 

Much of these rent declines center on Florida’s new construction boom. With more units to rent, demand falls, and prices follow. But, with an average rent still above the national average, investors shouldn’t shy away form considering an investment in Florida. 

Florida Is Growing Fast

One thing to remember as you explore the best rental markets in Florida is that it is the second-fastest growing state in the country after Texas in terms of number of new residents.

It added 365,205 residents in 2023, so even though new housing appears to be coming online quickly, there is no shortage of potential tenants. 

Security Deposit Trends in Florida

In 2023, Florida passed HB-133, which enables landlords to offer tenants the choice of paying a fee or monthly fees in place of traditional lump-sum security deposits. It also provides landlords with an avenue to pay their security deposits in monthly installments. 

If landlords and tenants agree to any of these options, the agreement must include a number of disclosures. CS/HB 133 from the Florida Senate has all the details for landlords and tenants who want to avoid the high up-front costs associated with security deposits. 

Texas adopted similar laws in 2021.

Top 5 Rental Markets in Florida for 2024

To compile our list, we thoroughly evaluated nearly 20 of the best rental markets in Florida. Each market had to demonstrate strong population and employment growth, a reasonable median sale price, and favorable rent-to-price ratios.

When landlords have a large number of potential tenants to choose from and a strong labor market backing those tenants, smooth residencies become more likely. 

If you’re interested in where we got our numbers, we found population growth figures on census.gov, employment stats on bestplaces.net, and all housing-related data on Redfin.com.

Lakeland

Lakeland’s location between Orlando and Tampa allows residents to access both metros while maintaining a lower cost of living. As these two cities continue to grow, it’s not a stretch to think that Lakeland will also, which could make it a nice hub for remote workers. 

In fact, migration to Lakeland is already happening. Redfin shows that 589 people moved to Lakeland from Tampa from December ‘23 to February ‘24. And when people get to Lakeland, they’ll have excellent employment opportunities. Publix will create 700 new jobs in Lakeland by 2027. Now may be the time to get in while median home prices remain relatively low. 

  • Population growth: 6.6%
  • Employment growth: 2.9%
  • Home value increase: 1.7%
  • Median sale price: $295,000
  • Price per square foot: $191
  • Average rent: $1806
  • Rent-to-price ratio: 13.61

Port St. Lucie

Port St. Lucie is very different from the other cities on this list. It isn’t as big or flashy as Orlando or Tampa, but it is one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida — a state full of rapidly growing cities. 

As reported by CBS12 News, part of the reason for its growth is that it offers a safe environment for families. For investors, these tenants aren’t likely to throw parties and bash your walls. Plus, with home value increases, relatively high average rents, and extremely strong population growth, this Treasure Coast city could mark the sweet spot. 

  • Population growth: 13.1%
  • Employment growth: 1.9%
  • Home value increase: 6.3%
  • Median sale price: $400,000
  • Price per square foot: $226
  • Average rent: $2,434
  • Rent-to-price ratio: 13.69

Tampa

If you’re an investor who wants to take advantage of a thriving jobs market, look no further than Tampa. Ranked as the nation’s second-best city for jobs on WalletHub, Tampa’s job market can attract well-qualified tenants to fill your rentals.

While its median house price isn’t the lowest you’ll find, Tampa’s average rent more than makes up for a little bit higher cost of entry. And because it’s ranked as the 7th best city for singles in the United States, young people are likely to take a shot at moving to Tampa for warm weather, great employment opportunities, and a chance at love. 

  • Population growth: 3.5%
  • Employment growth: 2.3%
  • Home value increase: 11.6%
  • Median sale price: $429,000
  • Price per square foot: $287
  • Average rent: $2,275
  • Rent-to-price ratio: 15.71

Jacksonville

Rental property investors who seek a relatively low cost of entry compared to Tampa yet want to reap the rewards of nearly double-digit home value increases should consider investing their capital in Jacksonville. 

With nearly a million residents, strong job growth, and an excellent rent-to-price ratio, Jacksonville offers real estate investors many reasons to look toward a potential investment in the Gateway to Florida. 

  • Population growth: 2.3%
  • Employment growth: 2.8%
  • Home value increase: 8.6%
  • Median sale price: $315,000
  • Price per square foot: $189
  • Average rent: $1,686
  • Rent-to-price ratio: 15.56 

Orlando

While not quite as affordable as other options on our best rental markets in Florida list, Orlando’s status as an entertainment hub means that continued tourism provides residents with steady employment opportunities. Another benefit of tourism is that it makes Orlando one of the best short term rental markets in Florida.  

Plus, its 15.9% home value increase indicates that investors who purchase in Orlando have a great opportunity to see their money grow with time. Of course, the potential for a decline exists, but Orlando regularly sees large influxes of New York, Miami, and Washington, DC residents, which could continue fueling home value increases. 

  • Population growth: 2.7%
  • Employment growth: 3.9%
  • Home value increase: 15.9%
  • Median sale price: $400,000
  • Price per square foot: $244
  • Average rent: $1975
  • Rent-to-price ratio: 16.87

Why TurboTenant is a Must-Have for Landlords in Florida

Florida real estate investors and landlords seeking to grow their investment portfolios in The Sunshine State need to save time and money. That’s where TurboTenant comes in. 

Our free tier enables landlords to collect rent, advertise properties, field applicants, and screen tenants without out-of-pocket expenses. And with the ability to rapidly create Florida-specific lease agreements — sometimes in as little as 10 minutes — landlords free their valuable time to look at more of the best rental markets in Florida or just relax on the beach.

Tips for Investing in Florida’s Rental Markets

When considering investing in the best rental markets in Florida, keep the following tips in mind. 

  1. Location Analysis: While we provided a list of the best markets, you should learn the neighborhoods in each market. Consider factors like public transportation access, neighborhood schools’ quality, and access to essential services. 
  2. Understand Local Demand: Investigate an area’s current and projected rental demand to ensure a steady influx of potential tenants.
  3. Future Growth Potential: To maximize long-term returns, look for areas with economic and population growth potential. Research an area to learn if heavy-hitting corporations plan to invest there to create jobs.
  4. Real Estate Market Trends: Stay updated on real estate market trends, property values, and rental rates to help make informed decisions. 
  5. Property Management: Consider self-managing your rental(s) with TurboTenant to cut down on management fees. 

Florida Rental Markets FAQs

What are the key indicators for selecting rental markets in Florida?

The selection of rental markets in Florida is based on strong population and employment growth, reasonable median sale prices, and favorable rent-to-price ratios. These indicators help landlords find areas with high tenant potential and a robust labor market.

How has Florida's rapid population growth affected the rental market?

Despite new housing developments, Florida’s rapid population growth has ensured a consistent demand for rental properties. The influx of residents has contributed to a continuous flow of potential tenants.

What are the advantages of using TurboTenant in the Florida rental market?

TurboTenant allows landlords in Florida to collect rent, advertise properties, and screen tenants without incurring out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, the platform facilitates the rapid creation of state-specific lease agreements, saving landlords valuable time.

What factors should landlords consider when investing in Florida's rental markets?

Landlords should conduct a thorough location analysis, understand the local rental demand, assess future growth potential, remain up-to-date on real estate market trends, and consider leveraging TurboTenant to self-manage their rental properties and minimize management fees.

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