In this edition of The TurboTenant report, we will be focusing on the best places to buy an investment property in Virginia. Five towns made our list: Richmond, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Leesburg, and Lynchburg. We curated data from studies on the best places to buy an investment property, median sale prices, and proprietary TurboTenant data. The TurboTenant Data includes stats on the average number of leads a rental property received, as well as the average number of days on the market. These two points will help an investor determine the strength of the rental market, as well as estimating potential vacancy rates.
Virginia is for lovers – lovers of cities, mountains, rivers, history, and more. Located in the Mid-Atlantic region, Virginia is in a strategic location as it’s close to Washington D.C. and often referred to as the gateway to the South. This state has a wide variety of natural, historical, and modern attractions for both residents and tourists – whether it is visiting historical Jamestown, hiking through the Shenandoah National Park, or going to one of the state’s famous wineries, you will fall in love with Virginia. One of the original 13 colonies, the federal government has a huge economic presence in the state, especially with the close proximity to the capital, the headquarters of the C.I.A., and the Pentagon. People are flocking to live in Virginia, especially younger millennials itching to work in D.C., for its great job opportunities, natural beauties, and artistic communities.
Virginia goes by many nicknames, our favorite is The Mother of States, because investors can expect to hit the mother-load when it comes to rental properties here. Let’s find out our top cities to invest in Virginia.
Leesburg is in Northern Virginia and a suburb of Arlington. It has been home to many American historical figures including Dolley Madison, General George C. Marshall, and Robert E. Lee’s family. Leesburg is about 45 minutes from Washington D.C. and is a great place to live and work. This city has great education, community, and a historic downtown. Word around town is that Leesburg has some of the best oyster restaurants – and some of the best rental properties. With an increase in population, employment, and home values, Leesburg provides great opportunity for landlords who want to fill their properties in two weeks or less and also have an easier time choosing tenants with a reasonable average of 31 leads.
- Population growth: 2.7%
- Employment growth: 2.4%
- Increase in home values: 2.6%
Median Sale Price: $452k
Average Rent: $1806
Average Number of Leads per Property: 31
Number of days on the rental market: 14
#4: Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach might have, you guessed it, a great beach life with fun experiences – but, it also has many surrounding neighborhoods and communities each with their own distinct culture. It is the largest city in Virginia with around 425,000 residents and is actually closer to North Carolina than other VA towns. However, Virginia Beach is very family-friendly, has a vibrant town center, a big art and music scene, and delicious restaurants. Three and a half military bases, agriculture, and tourism help aid Virginia Beach’s economy. Landlords can expect 26 leads and less than two weeks on the rental market – it’s a great place for both long-term and short-term rentals.
- Population growth: 0%
- Employment growth: 0.6%
- Increase in home values: 3.9%
Median Sale Price: $274k
Average Rent: $1172
Average Number of Leads per Property: 26
Number of days on the rental market: 13
You can pronounce it “Nor-fok” or “Naw-fok,” as some locals say it. If you like the water – Norfolk is the place for you as it has the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic ocean, and many rivers! You can enjoy sailing, watersports, and epic sunsets in this town. Norfolk has even been recognized as a Tree City with extensive trees and flowers covering its historic and charming neighborhoods. Besides having a bustling downtown and being the headquarters for NATO as well as the largest naval base in the world, Norfolk is also home to Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University. This is great news for landlords as students are constantly looking for affordable housing – landlords can expect an average of 39 leads and 16 days on the rental market. Well, folks, Norfolk sounds pretty good to us.
- Population growth: 0%
- Employment growth: 0.6%
- Increase in home values: 3.4%
Median Sale Price: $210k
Average Rent: $1045
Average Number of Leads per Property: 39
Number of days on the rental market: 16
Richmond is Virginia’s capital and was founded in 1607 – this historical city has always been a great hub for commerce, unique culture, and innovation. Richmond, and its surrounding area, is full of different amenities and communities for everyone. There are amazing restaurants, sports facilities, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and many budding businesses and start-ups. Its economy is largely made up of government offices and finance while it also is the home of the Great Turning Basin for boats and the only triple crossing of rail lines in the world! Real estate in Richmond is hot with the median sale price of only $235k and the average rent is only $1190 – low for many east coast cities. Landlords – get ready to get rich in Richmond with 119 leads per property and only 15 days or less on the market.
- Population growth: 1.5%
- Employment growth: 1.5%
- Increase in home values: 1.7%
Median Sale Price: $235k
Average Rent: $1190
Average Number of Leads per Property: 119
Number of days on the rental market: 15
Known as the City of Seven Hills, Lynchburg has a unique history that has helped shape its modern and thriving culture. While it’s known for its historical streets, fun downtown, and outdoor activities, it also has some of the best public school systems in the state. This is causing a rise in population growth particularly with families, but also for young students attending one of the five colleges the city hosts, such as Liberty University. Rent is extremely affordable for a two bedroom with an average of only $761! Lynchburg is attracting new residents for its great job opportunities and strong sense of community – because of this landlords can expect to fill up their properties fast with 41 leads to choose from and only 10 days on the market. Virginia might be for lovers, but Lynchburg is for property investors as our #1 town to buy rental property in.
- Population growth: 2.6%
- Employment growth: 2.0%
- Increase in home values: 7.2%
Median Sale Price: $153k
Average Rent: $761
Average Number of Leads per Property: 41
Number of days on the rental market: 10
Once you’ve landed the perfect investment property in a good location, TurboTenant can help take your landlording into the digital world by streamlining the rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.
About the TurboTenant Report
The TurboTenant Report analyzes data from active listings across all 50 states, as well as third party real estate, population and employment growth data. Our goal with the TurboReport is to empower seasoned and novice investors to make wise purchasing decisions when purchasing a rental investment property. For more information or custom data requests, please contact [email protected].
In order to determine the best cities to invest in each state, we curated data from a number of reputable sources as well as using TurboTenant proprietary data. Our main city selections were taken from a study that evaluated four main factors for each city: employment growth, population growth, increase in home values and rental yield. We combined that with TurboTenant data on the average rent price, the number of rental leads per property, as well as the average number of days the rental stays on the market.
We also included an honorable mention where applicable. They are pulled from this study on the best places to invest in every state. These were determined using Zillow’s Buyer-Seller Index and Zillow Home Value Forecast, and AreaVibes’ Livability Score. Other methods for determining honorable mentions include using TurboTenant proprietary data to determine which cities return the best rental investment R.O.I. using data points including days on market, the number of leads per property, and average rent price.
DISCLAIMER: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.
- TurboTenant Rental Data
- Fastest Growing States Population
- The Best and Worst Cities to Own Investment Property
- Real Estate data provided by Redfin, a national real estate brokerage.