Top 10 places to invest in ohio

Ohio the Nationwide Hot Market! The Top 10 Places to Invest in Ohio!

The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index highlights five Ohio cities as leading the pack in emerging housing markets nationwide.

Spanning over 2,493 miles from the top spot in Santa Maria, California, to the third position in Canton, the distance isn’t the only notable contrast. The affordability of homes in these markets showcases a staggering $1.56 million difference.

Further down the list, Springfield secured the sixth spot, Columbus claimed the eighth position, followed by Akron at No. 15, and Toledo rounding out the ranking at No. 17.

For real estate investors, cash buyers remain positioned at an advantage and multifamily rental properties should continue to perform well. According to Fannie Mae, more than 400,000 new multifamily units will enter the market this year; however, many of these are slated for Manufactured Housing Communities (MHCs), also referred to as “land-lease” communities. 

What are 10 of the best Ohio markets for real estate investors in 2024? 

1. Toledo

While Cincinnati and Columbus are the Ohio real estate markets that get the most attention, Toledo is viable for investors. Toledo has a population of roughly 260,000. The top three reasons to consider investing in Toledo include: 

  • Much less competition. 
  • Affordability: With median home prices above $400,000 nationwide, Toledo is substantially below at less than $200,000. 
  • Stability: The real estate market in Toledo is much less volatile compared to others in Ohio. A report from Realtor.com confirmed that the region has demonstrated resistance to extreme “highs or lows.”

2. Columbus 

The capital city remains a thriving market for real estate and otherwise. Strong demand for housing will keep rent high. Further, Zillow projects that the number of for-sale homes will rise by more than 10% compared to 2024. 

The presence of Ohio State University keeps the demand for student rental housing strong in the center of the city. 

3. Cincinnati 

With a population of slightly more than 300,000, all indicators suggest that Cincinnati will remain an excellent market for investors. Home values in this market continue appreciating and Cincinnati has plenty of employment opportunities that continue attracting new residents. 

Cincinnati has a variety of attractions, such as the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Zoo, and both a professional football and baseball team. These attractions present opportunities for investors in the short-term rental (Airbnb) market.  

Away from the lakefront, gentrification is occurring throughout many old neighborhoods including Tremont, Ohio City, and Buckeye.

4. Cleveland 

Despite having a disproportional number of older homes and tough winter weather, Cleveland has continued to revive itself. Significant new housing development continues along Cleveland’s roughly 17 miles of coastline along Lake Erie. 

Away from the lakefront, gentrification is occurring throughout many old neighborhoods including Tremont, Ohio City, and Buckeye. Meanwhile, the downtown area is undergoing many changes with more green space and conversions of old commercial buildings into nicer, rental units. 

As the home of the Cleveland Clinic and other leading health systems, Cleveland’s employment sector is above average. 

Affordability is another reason for investors to look at Cleveland, even when compared to other intrastate markets. For example, Cleveland’s median prices are roughly 20% below Cincinnati and more than 25% below Columbus. 

5. Lorain

Lorain is a city of approximately 65,000 residents positioned on the state’s northern Lake Erie coast, roughly 28 miles west of Cleveland. When comparing it with Cleveland today, Lorain generally offers prospective buyers some opportunities to acquire lakefront properties at more affordable prices. 

In 2022, homes sold within roughly 46 days and then fell to approximately 41 days in 2023.

The local daily paper, The Morning Journal offered some additional economic data suggesting that this “rust belt” city is rebounding. For example, the consensus among local realty companies is that the number of transactions will surge in the spring of 2024. Multiple sources also indicate that Lorain’s “downtown” area is really improving as a variety of businesses are increasingly renovating and occupying old, vacant properties. 

It is worthwhile to emphasize that affordability is a clear and recurring theme throughout Ohio’s real estate market.

6. Middletown

Despite its name, Middletown is actually positioned in the state’s southwestern corner just 30 miles north of Cincinnati. Home to approximately 50,000, Middletown is offering various tax incentives to boost the local economy. The incentives include federal ARPA grants, low-interest financing, Community Reinvestment Area tax abatements, and tax credits. 

According to a recent report in the Business View, Middletown is struggling with an insufficient housing stock, along with many of Ohio’s real estate markets. City leaders are actively creating an underlying infrastructure to encourage housing development. For example: expanding the water and sewer systems and implementing PACE financing for investments in energy. 

7. Cuyahoga Falls

Positioned between Cleveland and Akron in the northeastern section of the state, Cuyahoga Falls remains a worthwhile rental market. Redfin considers the Cuyahoga Falls real estate market as “very competitive.” 

8. Kettering

Considered a suburb of Dayton, Kettering is seen as a stable housing market with plenty of traditional rental properties. Good schools and ample employment opportunities keep the market viable.

9. Newark 

Located approximately 40 miles east of Columbus, Newark has roughly 50,000 residents. Median home sales prices rose by more than 20% in 2023 over the prior year in Newark. Over the past two years, properties have remained on the market for approximately 25 days. 

10. Dayton

Located in the western part of the state, Dayton has more than 130,000 residents. Dayton’s real estate market is consistently above average yet is less competitive compared to the majority of the aforementioned cities. 

The Dayton Daily News explains that the rental properties in the area are categorized as either residential or commercial based on the number of units. Commercial properties are those with four or more housing units. Residential property taxes are forecasted to increase by at least 10%, and the commercial rates are expected to follow suit after the next reappraisal.  

As with many areas of the state, Dayton has a shortage of rental properties available for those with low incomes. 

Ohio should have a good number of opportunities for investors in 2024.

Property Affordability in Ohio

It is worthwhile to emphasize that affordability is a clear and recurring theme throughout Ohio’s real estate market. Investors who are familiar with many large, metropolitan areas in other states should keep this in mind when analyzing Ohio data. 

The following table outlines further comparative insight regarding Ohio’s housing markets. 

Local MarketMedian Existing Home Value (Nov. 2023)
National (U.S.)$ 387,600
New York (Statewide) $ 649,000
Pennsylvania (Statewide) $ 268,100
Kentucky (Statewide) $ 246,700
Ohio (Statewide)$ 228,000
Columbus$ 323,400
Cincinnati$ 293,300
Cleveland$ 237,600
Toledo $ 186,300

  Source: Columbus Dispatch / NAR

Looking Forward to 2024

Ohio should have a good number of opportunities for investors in 2024. Investors will need to do their homework when evaluating property purchases. Based on the continued lack of supply, expect strong competition for properties becoming available. 

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Anthony Amodeo

Anthony Amodeo

Anthony (Tony) Amodeo is a seasoned content writer for clients operating in markets including real estate, consumer finance, healthcare, and facility management. Residing in Northeast Ohio, he is a graduate of Kent State University.

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