20 of the best US housing markets for investing in real estate

If you’re looking to invest in real estate, location is paramount.

HomeUnion, an online real-estate investment management firm, has identified ZIP codes in 20 US metros where investors have seen the highest return on investment and minimal risk over a five-year period.

To compile its list, HomeUnion calculated the total annualized return — including projected appreciation and cash flow — of single-family rentals for more than 200,000 neighborhoods in its database using a proprietary methodology.

It then eliminated neighborhoods with an average school rating below the 70th percentile, based on data from Maponics.

“Typically, SFRs in areas with good schools have been attractive to long-term investors, though those areas have been more challenging to locate for remote investors in today’s heated housing market,” said Steve Hovland, the director of research for HomeUnion.

The markets with the highest returns and an average school rating in the 70th percentile or higher made it to the top of the list. Below, check out the top 20 housing markets in the US for real-estate investors, where average annual returns over five years range from 5.4% to 8.1%.

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