Best Return on Investment Real Estate | A Guide With All Details

What is the best return on investment real estate? The historical average return on the S&P 500 is 10%. All investors (whether they invest in real estate or other asset classes) seek the same thing: profit. When it comes to investing in rental property, profitability is determined by the rate of return on the investment. 

However, one of the reasons that novice real estate investors lose money is that they pursue unattainable rates of return on investment. The most frequently given response is “it depends on various criteria, including the investing location, the type of property, its circumstances, and hazards.” Let’s discuss it further:

Best Return on Investment Real Estate

Best Return On Investment Real Estate

It is a generally accepted principle that real estate returns rise, on average, with time. The article below shows what you could achieve from investing in the US residential market over different holding periods over the long term.

So, there are a lot of numbers there, but they present a clear picture: if you want to invest for the best return on investment (ROI), it appears to be better to hold onto your property until at least 9 years after purchase. Interestingly, this doesn’t change no matter which city or state you look at – so whether you live in New York City or Dubuque makes no difference!

However, given the number of people interested in buying rather than renting right now amid historically low-interest rates, I’d suggest you should seriously consider renting. The above shows how keeping a property for an average of 9 years will give you the best return. It is on your investment in terms of ROI – but there’s a lot more to it than that.

In fact, given the current economic conditions and real estate market, doing something as simple as investing in rental properties right now could be seen as taking a huge risk. In an improving economy with housing prices currently rising plus historically low-interest rates, buying a house is not necessarily a bad thing because you can always sell at a profit later on down the line.

This is, however, unlikely to happen if investors choose to keep their properties until after 9 years (which is when they would start making the highest profit.

Is Purchasing at Today’s Prices Worthwhile?

Prices for investment real estate are at an all-time high right now. According to the National Association of Realtors, median home values increased 17.2 percent over the previous year in March 2021, the largest gain in history. There were 28 percent fewer commercial properties for sale in February 2021 than the previous year, prompting prices to soar.

The first rule of investment real estate is to make money by purchasing below market value. This is difficult, if not almost impossible, to accomplish in the modern era. A customer bet that paying top dollar in 2018 would pay off in the future if rents and property prices increased. Although she earned little from operations, she more than doubled her capital invested in three years through appreciation.

Is it worthwhile to purchase at today’s exorbitant prices? That is if you excel at one or, ideally, several of the following metrics:

Cash-on-cash return (CCR)

It is calculated as annual net operating income fewer loan payments from operations divided by total cash invested in the property. You should aim for 8% in the first year and considerably more in subsequent years. Your objective will boost net revenue through various value-added measures such as increasing rents, reducing expenses, and making minor cosmetic enhancements.

Equity multiple

This is the percentage rise in the value of your cash investment over time. 


It represents the entire amount of money earned on your cash investment through operations and appreciation when you sell the property. In five years, aim for a 20% IRR or above.

The cost of money

This is the interest rate and period of your loan, as well as the monthly payment. If you can obtain 80% seller financing at a low rate and with interest-only payments, your cost of capital is cheap.

Investor preferred returns

Investor preferred returns still allow you to profit from operations and property sales over five years.

To summarize, if you really must purchase an overpriced house today, do so thoughtfully and with a willingness to work. It’s acceptable to anticipate a low return on investment during the first two years if you have a long-term hold strategy, purchased in a desirable neighborhood, and, of course, implemented some excellent value-add tactics to boost rents and property value. 

How to Maximize your Return on Investment

Best Return on Investment Real Estate

According to, a market’s “best spot” for real estate investing has various characteristics: housing affordability, salary and population growth, unemployment rate, property value appreciation, and rental yield.

According to these parameters, the greatest locations for real estate investments are as follows:

  • Tampa, Florida Amarillo, Texas
  • Georgia, Atlanta
  • Iowa City, Cedar Rapids Indy, Indiana Florida’s Jacksonville
  • South Carolina, North Charleston, Kentucky’s Louisville
  • Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth

What is the Return on Investment in Real Estate Investing?

When you buy a rental property, you do it only to profit. You want to make money and gain the investment, whether it’s short-term or long-term.

The technique you use to calculate your real estate ROI depends on the kind of investment portfolio you buy. You may have many income sources contributing to your ROI at times.

What is a Reasonable Return on Investment in Real Estate?

The definition of a reasonable rate of return on property investment varies depending on the investor’s risk threshold. Because the S&P 500 index comprises 500 large-cap domestic firms that account for the bulk of the country’s market valuation, many shareholders use it as a baseline, which implies that any transaction that outperforms it is a good use of their money.

Profitability of tangible real estate

Because of its leverage, tangible real estate may produce returns that beat the S& P 500. To put it another way, you can get a mortgage and increase your cash-on-cash return while still having the opportunity to use your other assets to buy other houses.

For example, if you paid $20,000 for the same $100,000 property mentioned above and received $8,000 in NOI, your money return would be a whopping 40%. To get the cap rate, divide operating profit by the estate’s selling price, purchase price, or market price.

You may also use the NOI and cap rate to determine what the market is worth. Assume you want to put in a bid on a revenue apartment building with a net operating income of $50,000 per year.

You know that the average cost of capital of similar sold properties in the area is 7% based on recent industrial assessments and market research. As a result, the building’s market value is estimated to be roughly $714,285 (divide $50,000 by.07 to get this amount).

If you paid cash for the building, you would get 7% in rental income each year. If you buy the property for $600,000, you’re getting good value – the NOI for the building is less than half of what it would be in the area.

The cap rate for an apartment block in a particular area may vary from the capitalization rate for a commercial or retail property. Each asset category may have its own set of criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Reasonable Rate of Return (ROI) for Real Estate Investors?

What one investor believes to be an “excellent” return on investment may be deemed unsatisfactory by another. A positive return on investment in real estate varies according to risk tolerance; the more risk you are ready to take, the higher the expected return. On the other hand, risk-averse investors may gladly accept lesser returns for more assurance.

As we said before, the historical average return on the S&P 500 is 10%.

Naturally, you do not need to purchase physical property to invest in real estate. In general, real estate investment trust (REIT) returns are more variable than actual property returns (they trade on an exchange, after all). The annual return on REITs in the United States is 12.99 percent, as assessed by the MSCI US REIT Index.

Is a Reasonable Rate of Return on Residential Real Estate?

Discover the finest investment opportunities All investors (whether they invest in real estate or other asset classes) seek the same thing: profit. When it comes to investing in rental property, profitability is determined by the rate of return on the investment. However, one of the reasons that novice real estate investors lose money is that they pursue unattainable rates of return on investment.

How to Calculate the Return on Investment on a Rental Property?

Why is it critical to determine a property’s return on investment before purchasing real estate? One of the primary reasons individuals invest is to grow their wealth. Although investors’ goals vary, some may seek money for retirement while others may save for others. 

Investments are generally made in response to life events such as having a kid or arranging a wedding; all investments normally aim to make money. Additionally, it is irrelevant whether you invest in the stock market, bond market, or real estate. Real estate is physical property made up of land and, in most circumstances, structures or natural resources placed on that land.

A real estate investment can take on a variety of shapes and sizes. One sort of real estate investing is in investment properties. Individuals often acquire investment properties intending to profit from rental income. Certain individuals purchase investment homes to sell them quickly.

How to Locate Cash Flowing Real Estate

The first step toward determining where to look for rental property understands the aspects that may assist an investment’s cash flow. The following indicators indicate that a market may be favorable for cash-flowing rental property:

Housing affordability is a proxy for the ability of investors to acquire property at a reasonable price and the possibility for tenant demand.

Year-over-year wage growth should equal or exceed the predicted rate of rent increases; otherwise, tenants may find themselves unable to pay their rent.

Unemployment rates in healthy rental markets are comparable to or lower than the national average, indicating a healthy job market.

Population increase indicates that more people are migrating to a market searching for employment opportunities, a lower cost of living, or a greater standard of living.

Why Cash Flow Is Critical

Cash flow and appreciation are the two primary components of potential profit from renting real estate. However, investors who place an excessive emphasis on appreciation may also expose themselves to excessive risk.

That is because appreciation is a process that can take years to achieve. 

Bottom line

Return on investment (ROI) quantifies the amount of money or profit earned on an investment. As a percentage of the investment’s cost. To get the % return on a cash transaction, divide the investment’s total profit or gain by the initial cost.

You must account for the down and monthly mortgage payments if you have a mortgage. Other variables, such as repair and maintenance charges, as well as your monthly spending, can affect your ROI.

The return on investment (ROI) on a rental property is unique compare to other investments. It varies considerably depending on whether the property is mortgage-financed or paid in cash. As a general rule, less cash is paid upfront for a down payment for a house. So, the larger the mortgage loan amounts, the higher the return on investment.

On the other side, the higher the upfront cash investment and the lower the amount borrowed. The lower the ROI, as the initial cost is higher. In other words, funding enables you to boost your return on investment (ROI). In the short term by cutting your initial costs.

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