Curve

The city with the most vacation homes and investment properties might surprise you

Aly J. YaleThe Mortgage Reports Contributor

Not your average vacation spot

Though most would assume the nation’s top spot for vacation homes, investment properties and second homes would be someplace warm, sunny and on a beach, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to a new ranking, the city with the most non-owner occupied homes is none other than landlocked Oklahoma City.

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Oh, Oklahoma

According to a new analysis by LendingTree, Oklahoma City has the biggest share of non-owner occupied mortgages in the country, at 15.4 percent. That means nearly a fifth of all mortgages in the cities are held by vacation, investment or second homeowners.

Philadelphia and Memphis, Tennessee, tied for second, with a 14.6 percent share of non-owner occupied homes each.

“Southern cities may be attracting investors due to low prices and growing populations,” wrote Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist. “Many residents in Southern cities may not be able to access homeownership due to lower median salaries, creating a ready pool of renters.”

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At No. 4 is a more expected city: Miami. With its year-round sunny weather and sandy beaches, it’s no surprise the city has one of the highest shares of vacation properties in the nation.

Other cities in the top 10 include San Francisco; New Orleans; Las Vegas; New York; Los Angeles; and Riverside, California.

“There is a clear regional break,” Kapfidze said. “Cities with the most non-owner occupied properties were located in the South or the West while those with the least are in Northeast and Midwest.”

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Where owners reign supreme

Detroit has the lowest share of vacation, second and investment homes, at just 5.2 percent. According to Kapfidze, this is due to the city’s surprisingly high homeownership rate.

“The homeownership rate in the top 10 cities is an average 59 percent compared with just 67 percent in the bottom 10,” he said. “Even Detroit, a city often cited as having a challenging housing market, has a homeownership rate above all the top 10 cities.”

Other cities with low rates of second home ownership include Cleveland; Hartford, Connecticut; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Pittsburgh; Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; and Salt Lake City.

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Are you thinking of buying a second home or investment property? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for first.

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