5 Favorite Investment Property Destinations for 2022

When it comes to real estate, it's all about location. That old adage holds as true for investment property as it does when you're shopping for your first family home. NASDAQ reports that in some markets, investors can expect year-over-year returns that approach 18%, much higher than the average you'll see on the stock market. If you've been thinking about dipping your toes into the lucrative world of real estate investment, start your search for promising rental properties by combing the listings at my five favorite destinations. 

Tampa, Florida

Florida lands on the list for many investors who want a rental property now and a retirement cottage later. If you're looking for real estate in a warm-weather destination, Tampa offers impressive yearly returns as one of the nation's fastest-growing rental markets. In fact, PwC ranked it among the top five cities for overall real estate prospects in 2022. It also boasts affordable housing prices compared to other investment destinations, so you might want to look at this beachside city if you're just starting out in the real estate realm. Tampa is also a good choice if you're interested in investing in open land for new construction.

Boise, Idaho

This mid-size Midwest city has a big heart that accounts for its popularity among new residents and real estate investors alike. With a low unemployment rate, it attracts tons of young professionals looking for an affordable place to start their careers, so you'll find a thriving rental market already in place. Boise's rapid growth, significantly above the U.S. average for all cities, will likely continue thanks to its vibrant community of museums, parks, restaurants and festivals. You may want to add this locale to your list if you're specifically interest in multifamily real estate, a popular sector here.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

This quintessential Western city lands on my list because of its affordability, particularly for new real estate investors. Roofstock actually listed it as the top "backbone market" for 2022, defined as a locale that rarely lands on lists like these but actually provides worthwhile opportunities for real estate investors. 

At just over $277,000, the median home price is about 12% below the national average. You'll also benefit from the city's solid population growth and thriving tech industry, which includes Intel headquarters and a Netflix production hub. Did I mention that Albuquerque is an absolutely beautiful place to live year-round?

Youngstown, Ohio

According to Policy Genius, Youngstown is the single best place to buy real estate in 2022. The source cites the city's 77% home value appreciation rate, high rent to home value ratio, and low property taxes. This metro area is a steel town poised for rebirth with increasing population growth, new initiatives like the Youngstown Business Incubator, and easy commuting or weekend access to both Pittsburgh and Cleveland. You'll also find a low rental vacancy rate, so you'll easily find tenants for your new rental property in this city of about 60,000 residents.

Birmingham, Alabama

Another so-called backbone market, Birmingham is one of the best places to invest in real estate because of its solid economic progress and thriving population growth. I personally love Birmingham's affordability, with low median home values and even lower property taxes, and hundreds of tech companies and financial firms mean it's almost guaranteed to keep growing in the coming decades. 

With these five incredible spots on your short list, you're ready to start investing in U.S. real estate or expand your portfolio beyond your immediate geographic area. Make sure to do the math on every property rather than getting carried away by the excitement of a prospective deal.