Real estate is among the most popular alternative investments. Regardless of the method of investment — crowdfunded real estate, REITs or individual ownership — it’s easy to understand the upside. Land is a finite resource and is always in demand. The stock market has been in a tailspin and crypto’s volatility can be difficult to time.
If you listen to popular investors, the news or dig into some of the holdings on your favorite crowdfunding real estate platforms, the same major hubs and surrounding areas tend to come up:
- Tampa, Florida: Warm weather location with noticeable population growth on developments. The housing market remains surprisingly affordable, despite home values increasing by 5.4% last year.
- Boise, Idaho: Most famously, Kanye West spent several months in the northwest state, producing several albums. He may have been early on a trend as Idaho and the city of Boise each have seen growth. A low unemployment rate and the top spot on Realtor.com’s metro level housing forecast for 2020 make this town popular. So popular, that the population growth has been triple the national average.
- Austin, Texas: Seemingly everybody has or knows someone who has relocated to Austin. Massive growth and a huge housing market have led investors and crowdfunded real estate platforms to gobble up investment opportunities in surrounding areas. Success has already been realized by investing in, arguably, America’s most trendy city.
These cities have seen many monetize mass migration, capitalizing on their respective growth. By this time, their appeal is widely known and it may be too late to the game. If you’d like to venture off the beaten path in an attempt to be early on the next trend, consider investing in:
• Madison, Wisconsin: Madison fits the profile of many of the other top cities. This highly educated city is one of only two U.S. cities built on an isthmus, surrounded by four lakes. Its location provides plenty of outdoor recreation for its citizens and attracts plenty of visitors, as evidenced by the $1 billion tourist economy. Unemployment is low, as is the cost of living. The city is home to both the state capitol and the University of Wisconsin.
Like Austin, Madison is its state’s fastest-growing city. As of 2021, the city had a population of nearly 270,000, an increase of over 16% for the decade, with tons of movement in the latter half. Additionally, the metro area saw an increase of over 12%.
Also like Austin, Madison is a progressive college town in a relatively conservative state, attracting young professionals from all walks of life, from all over the country. Rental rates have increased about 1.5%, and there is plenty of competition, but no shortage of renters. Finally, the median home value is around $255,000, but with an expected increase of 3.5% is looming. Act fast if you want to be an early investor.
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