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The Tampa Bay area is a great place for investors to buy and rent out homes, study finds

A recent study says Tampa Bay is a good place for investors to buy and rent out homes. LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times
A recent study says Tampa Bay is a good place for investors to buy and rent out homes. LANCE ROTHSTEIN | Special to the Times
Published Oct. 20, 2016

For investors wanting to buy and rent out single-family homes, the Tampa Bay area is a good place to do it.

In the first half of this year, a new survey shows, all four bay area counties exceeded the national average for gross rental yield on investor-owned houses. (Gross yield is the annual rental income divided by the price paid for the property.)

Hernando not only led other Tampa Bay counties, it also ranked among the top 22 counties nationwide for high-yield, low-vacancy rentals. Investors who bought Hernando houses collected an average monthly rent of $1,407, for a 14 percent yield, and experienced vacancy rates of just 2 percent.

Nationally, the average yield was 8.7 percent and vacancy rate was 4.3 percent.

Previous coverage: Tampa Bay now ranks third in the nation in house flipping

Although yields across the country have dropped to the lowest level since 2007, hedge funds and other institutional investors continue to snap up houses to use as rentals.

"These (yields) are still attractive compared to alternative investing opportunities,'' said Daren Blomquist of ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac. "Given shifting attitudes toward home ownership that are showing up in stubbornly low home ownership rates, these single-family rental investors will be an important and likely growing force in the real estate market for years to come.''

Previous coverage: How long can the good times roll for Tampa Bay's housing market before the bubble pops?

According to the RealtyTrac survey, one in four single-family homes in the Tampa Bay area and nationwide is not occupied by the owner.

Next to Hernando, Pasco had the highest average rental yield on investor-owned houses at 12 percent. Investors in both Pinellas and Hillsborough averaged yields of about 9 percent.

Nationwide, counties in the Detroit, Baltimore and Atlanta areas showed the highest yields on houses owned by investors.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

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