5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment

5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment

Florida’s sunny shores, vibrant cities, and popular attractions make it a prime spot for Airbnb investments. This guide will provide the most profitable Airbnb locations in Florida and their average nightly rates, occupancy rates, and property values.

Key Takeaways

  • Kissimmee is the most profitable city in Florida for Airbnb real estate investors.
  • Orlando (61%) and Key West (63%) have the highest occupancy rates.
  • Key West offers premium rates, with an average nightly rate of $626 and a high average home value of over $1 million.
  • Orlando offers the most affordable average nightly rate for tourists at $216.
  • In Miami and Miami Beach, investors should be cautious of potential noise and damage from party-centric guests.

Tips for Airbnb Accounting & Bookkeeping

Get a step-by-step guide on filing taxes for Airbnb rentals.

How to Find the Most Profitable Airbnb Locations in Florida?

Florida is known for its short-term rental markets, but some cities offer better Airbnb cash-on-cash returns than others. Here’s how to select the best places in Florida for Airbnb investments.

Research Tourist Attractions

Florida is primarily famous for theme parks and beautiful beaches. Choose locations near popular attractions like Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, or Miami Beach. Cities like Orlando and Miami Beach are ideal for their continuous influx of tourists.

Follow Seasonal Demand

Identify areas with pronounced peak seasons. For example, Orlando has high demand during school vacations, which can generate more rental income. Check occupancy and booking rates throughout the year to assess seasonal fluctuations.

Choose Convenient Locations

Easily accessible properties are likely to be more valuable. They should ideally be:

  • Close to major airports
  • Near public transportation hubs
  • Located along major roads
  • Near convention centers, sports arenas, or cultural sites
  • Well-serviced by ride-sharing apps and taxis

Compare Home and Rental Prices

Aim for cities where property prices are reasonable are reasonably balanced with potential income. While Key West might offer high rental rates at $626 a night, the average price for a property is over $1 million. In cities like Orlando, rental rates are lower, but so is the median purchase price for vacation properties, which can offer a better return on investment.

Calculate Profitability for Airbnb in Florida

To ensure your Airbnb investment in Florida is financially sound, these two key metrics are crucial:

  • Monthly Cash Return: Focus on properties with a solid monthly income after deducting all expenses. Knowing your monthly net gain will help you make a profitable investment choice.
  • High Cash-on-Cash Return: Airbnb cash-on-cash return (COC) indicates your return on investment in the first year. You should aim for at least a 10% COC return.

Choose locations where the investment and maintenance costs align favorably with the average occupancy rates. You can use real estate rental ROI calculators to get a more accurate projection of your potential returns.

Things to Consider When Investing in Florida

When buying Airbnb property in Florida, there are several key factors to consider.

Florida Airbnb Regulations

Florida mandates that all vacation rentals be licensed through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). However, if you plan to host guests while staying in the same property (hosted rentals), know that the DBPR does not regulate these.

Check with your local county and municipality for regulations on Florida short-term rentals.

Also, consider any other binding agreements like leases, condo board rules, HOA regulations, or tenant organization rules that might impact your ability to host on Airbnb.

Weather and Climate

Florida’s weather can be a double-edged sword for the real estate market. Although it’s called the Sunshine State, certain areas are prone to hurricanes. Properties in hurricane-prone zones may require additional insurance and protective measures.

Florida’s humid climate can also increase maintenance needs, such as air conditioning upkeep and mold prevention.

Hurricane-Prone Areas:

  • Miami and Miami Beach
  • The Florida Keys (including Key West)
  • Tampa and St. Petersburg
  • Fort Myers and Naples

Areas with High Humidity and Heat:

  • Orlando
  • Jacksonville
  • Tallahassee
  • Fort Lauderdale

Property Type

To find the best places to buy Airbnb in Florida, align the property type with the region’s unique characteristics and tourist preferences.

  1. Coastal Condos: Best for beach areas and coastal towns; attracts couples and small families.
  2. Family Homes: Near theme parks in Orlando; ideal for family vacations.
  3. Luxury Villas: In upscale regions, suited for high-end guests.
  4. Cottages: In quiet beach towns, perfect for small groups seeking tranquility.
  5. Urban Apartments: For city centers; appeals to business and city tourists.

Property Management

Consider whether you’ll manage the investment property or hire a property management company. Self-management can be more cost-effective, but it’s time-consuming. A management company can add to your expenses, but it’s convenient.

Using property management software like Baselane can be a middle ground, offering useful tools for bookkeeping and banking for Airbnb hosts.

Florida Airbnb Investment Metrics

For Airbnb investments in Florida, consider these metrics:

  • Annual Occupancy Rate: Target above 25% to ensure steady bookings and a favorable ROI.
  • Peak Rental Season: Identify when demand spikes in your area to maximize rental income.
  • Number of Vacation Rentals: Understand the inventory in your desired location to evaluate competition and market saturation.
  • Average Daily Rate: Aim for properties with a higher daily rate (ADR) for better annual revenue.
  • Market Supply: Assess active listings to determine peak times and demand for vacation rentals.
  • Weekly Occupancy Rates: Choose locations with balanced weekly occupancy rates for consistent revenue.

What to Know Before Buying Airbnb Property

Even if you have already invested in real estate, there are some differences in preparing for an Airbnb compared to a regular rental property.

  1. Understand Local Regulations: Every city and state has its own set of rules for Airbnb hosts. Some places might require you to have a license, or there might be limits on how long guests can stay. Check these rules so you don’t run into any trouble.
  1. Get the Right Insurance: Regular home insurance might not cover accidents that happen during an Airbnb stay. You’ll need special insurance that’s made for short-term rental properties.
  2. Set Up a Separate Bank Account: It’s wise to have a separate bank account for your Airbnb rental income and expenses. This makes it easier to track your finances and performance.
  3. Understanding Taxes: Make sure you comply with Airbnb Florida and federal tax regulations. Sometimes, Airbnb helps with this by collecting some taxes for you.
  4. Managing Costs: There will be upfront costs, like getting furniture and setting up your space. Then, there are ongoing costs, like utilities, cleaning, and maintenance.

For more details on accounting and bookkeeping for Airbnb investors, check out this article: Accounting and Bookkeeping for Airbnb Investors.

5 Best Places in Florida For Airbnb Investment


5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment
  • Number of Vacation Rentals: 31,906
  • Booking/Occupancy Rates: 59%
  • Average Nightly Rate: $330.4
  • Avg. Home Value: $373,138
  • Peak Rental Season: June to July

Just minutes from Disney World, Universal Studios, and other popular tourist attractions, It’s no wonder Kissimmee ranks among the best places to Airbnb in Florida. While the summer is the peak season, Kissimmee’s appeal as a vacation spot remains strong throughout the year.

Although the median purchase price in Kissimmee is comparable to the national average of $367,593, these property listings generally have three or more bedrooms. A 2-bedroom costs around $280K and carries an average mortgage payment of $1,134. Daily rates have been holding steady at $330, so you only need to rent the property for four nights before turning a profit.

City-specific Airbnb rules: ​​Short-term rentals are only allowed in certain zoning districts, and you need a permit to rent Airbnb properties for longer than 30 days.

Key West

5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment
  • Number of Vacation Rentals: 2,622
  • Booking/Occupancy Rates: 63%
  • Average Nightly Rate: $626.3
  • Avg. Home Value: $1,062,464
  • Peak Rental Season: March to May

Key West is one of the top vacation destinations in Florida. This picturesque island has plenty of recreational activities, including the Earnest Hemmingway Museum, Truman Little White House, a touch-friendly aquarium, and the Conch Train tour. Most visitors come for weekend getaways or week-long vacations, generating a steady income stream for short-term rentals.

Considering the median property price is over $1 million, Key West may not be the best area in Florida for Airbnb rentals if you’re a new investor. However, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom properties are the leading rental options, which range between $610K-$850K. Average annual revenue is just over $143K, which generates a solid Airbnb cash-on-cash return for smaller short-term rentals.

City-specific Airbnb rules: Airbnb Florida rentals in Key West must have a transient license (weekly and nightly rentals for less than 28 days) or a non-transient license (must be rented for a minimum of 30 days).


5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment
  • Number of Vacation Rentals: 14,949
  • Booking/Occupancy Rates: 56%
  • Average Nightly Rate: $277.7
  • Avg. Home Value: $553,419
  • Peak Rental Season: January to March

Miami is a popular destination for tourists and business travelers seeking sunny beaches, lavish hotels, and a vibrant nightlife. The high-traffic cruise port keeps visitors coming in all year, making Miami one of the best Airbnb cities in Florida for consistent short-term rental income.

Full homes with two bedrooms dominate the short-term rental market in Miami. The average price for these properties is $422.7K, requiring renters to pay $277 for at least six days per month to cover the $1,713 mortgage payment. You can charge upwards of $390 per night in popular neighborhoods, like Brickell and Coconut Grove, but median purchase prices between $740K-$987K will drop your cash returns.

City-specific Airbnb rules: The occupancy limit for vacation rentals in Miami is 12 persons per property, with a limit of 2 persons per bedroom, excluding children under 3 years of age.

Miami Beach

5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment
  • Number of Vacation Rentals: 7,359
  • Booking/Occupancy Rates: 56%
  • Average Nightly Rate: $360.5
  • Avg. Home Value: $541,438
  • Peak Rental Season: November to April

Miami Beach should be on your radar as one of the best cities in Florida for Airbnb investing. Millions travel annually to this coastal city for the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. It’s also a well-known fashion capital and home to film studios, presenting short-term rental income opportunities from local and international tourism.

As demand for Airbnb properties rises, it can drive up property values. Home values in Miami Beach have increased by 37% in the last five years. Plus, average daily rates are up 45%, and annual revenue has grown 8% just in the past year. These upward trends in rental income and property appreciation can help offset higher median property prices.

City-specifc Airbnb rules: Short-term rentals are allowed in specific residential zones. Fines for illegal short-term renting in Miami Beach can be up to $20,000 for the first offense.


  • Number of Vacation Rentals: 11,245
  • Booking/Occupancy Rates: 61%
  • Average Nightly Rate: $216.6
  • Avg. Home Value: $373,927
  • Peak Rental Season: June to July

Orlando is a destination location for world-renowned theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. With so many tourist hotspots, the average stay duration for most Airbnb guests is 4-5 nights. This adds more flexibility to adjust your property listings for popular stay durations and peak seasons to help keep your rentals full.

For new investors, Orlando is one of the best Florida cities for Airbnb investment when you’re starting out. Home prices are fairly reasonable for such a prime location, sitting just below $374K. For comparison, you can buy about three Airbnb properties in Orlando for what a single property in Key West would cost. A daily rate of $216 seems low, but still produces about a 13% return on the cash you invested within the first year based on average home values.

City-specific Airbnb rules: Short-term rentals have to your a permanent residence, and the occupancy limit is capped at two individuals per room (four total) and half the bedrooms rented at one time.

Keep your money organized

Link unlimited accounts for short-term rentals to hosting platforms for $0 per month.

Final Thoughts

With plenty of attractive locations and millions of annual visitors, buying Airbnb property in Florida could be the perfect fit for new and experienced vacation home investors. Now that you know the best areas in Florida for Airbnb investing, you can start building your real estate empire in the Sunshine State.

Learn more about being a Florida landlord with our Florida Real Estate Investing Guide.

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Financial Technology, Real Estate Investing, and Property Management, Accounting and Tax, Finance
Saad started his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working for a top-tier accounting firm. He was responsible for helping audit alternative investment funds. He later worked at a hedge fund where he was responsible for preparing financial statements and implementing new technology. He also ran a successful private tax practice for five years.

After completing his MBA at Duke, Saad joined The Boston Consulting Group to do management consulting. At BCG his experience spanned several industries and growth projects across Pharma, Retail, and Technology companies. His passion for democratizing finances led him to Plaid, a fintech, where he worked with large Banks and Financial Institutions to make finances and money easier for all.
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5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment
5 Most Profitable Cities in Florida for Airbnb Investment
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