The beach just might be my favorite place. I love the sand in my toes and the salt in my hair. North Carolina’s coastline is filled with picturesque beaches. We have so many that two locations made a top 10 list for 2022.

In its report on the Best Places to Buy a Beach House in 2022, North America’s leading vacation rental platform discussed the best places to buy. Vacasa’s annual report ranks the best U.S. vacation rental properties based on average cap rates, or the yearly rate of return, as second home sales continue to be strong in the first quarter.

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is ranked as this year’s #1 profitable beach market, with a cap rate of 10.2% and an annual gross rental income of around $56,000. Below is the list of this year’s top beach markets. You can see more on the study here.

  • 10. Lahaina, HI 

    Taking the #10 spot on our Best Places to Buy a Beach House 2022 report, the “land of the relentless sun” rounds out our list. Lahaina is a popular vacation destination on the island of Maui for swimming and snorkeling in the warm Pacific waters, enjoying a traditional luau, and watching the sunset from your vacation rental lanai. Guests will flock to Lahaina in droves, which is good news since homes and condos can skew a bit higher at a median home sale price of $725,000.

  • 9. Port St. Joe, Fla.

    Those looking for a beach house with a healthy cap rate and postcard-worthy views need to look no further than Port St. Joe. Port St. Joe, dubbed “the small town with a big heart,” is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Discover America’s Scenic Highways and Byways, climb the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, or dine in one of the town’s seafood shacks for delicious food. A home in Port St. Joe will cost you approximately $360,000, with a cap rate of 6.1%.

  • 8. Rockaway Beach, Ore.

    Oregon Coast isn’t known for some of the sunny activities that other Best Places to Buy a Beach House are, but that’s precisely what makes the Pacific Northwest an ideal destination for those who prefer a seascape with a cooler climate. Rather than basking on the warm sands, guests can choose to watch storms from their vacation homes, peruse the local shops, or grab a beer at one of the region’s popular breweries, dog in tow. However, the median gross rental income for coastal towns is on par with other best coastal towns to invest in, at $48,030.

  • 7. Hatteras Island, N.C.

    Hatteras Island, a sunny coastal town that is home to seven villages, two lighthouses, and a national seashore, is another North Carolina market that made our Best Places to Buy a Beach House 2022 list. There is a sense of returning to a simpler time in the area before tourists began to know the Outer Banks, and there are opportunities to relax, ride horses on the beach, and even climb lighthouses for the perfect sunset photo. One of the area’s homes (stitches optional) costs around $480,000 (on Hatteras Island).

  • 6. Galveston, Texas 

    The weather in Galveston is so mild that every day can be a beach day, making it our number one Best Places to Buy a Beach House year-round. The Victorian architecture makes the area unique, or you can visit one of the city’s top attractions, such as the Moody Garden or Schlitterbahn Waterpark. There’s nothing bigger than Texas, except perhaps the median home sale price, which hovers around $340,000.

  • 5. Daytona Beach, Fla.

    As NASCAR fans flock to the international speedway every year, Daytona Beach naturally comes to mind. A stretch of white sand and warm ocean waters await the guests who prefer a bit more peace and quiet, among the many vacation activities Daytona Beach has to offer. Daytona Beach has everything from scuba diving to golfing, to shopping and spas, to birdwatching and hiking. With a median home sale price of just under $250,000, Florida offers a more affordable way to own a piece of paradise.

  • 4. New Buffalo, Mich.

    A beach-like lakeshore may not strike your fancy immediately as a Best Place to Buy a Beach House, but take a closer look, and you will be pleasantly surprised. The city, which is just one hour from Chicago and perfect for a quick weekend getaway, is anchored by a small lighthouse. New Buffalo has a charming downtown district flanked by restaurants and breweries as well as a casino and marina. The median gross rental revenue for this midwest escape is just over $58,000, maintaining a 6.6% cap rate.

  • 3. Navarre Beach, Fla

    Just east of Pensacola lies a small beach community that is a big draw for visitors. Most visitors can be found in the area’s emerald waters, sunning, and swimming. Visit Florida reports that guests crossing the Navarre Beach Bridge often describe it as “a transcendence into paradise” because of the town’s zen-like atmosphere. In Navarre Beach, the median home sale price sits under $400,000 and boasts a 6.6% cap rate.

  • 2. Corolla, N.C.

    It is likely the popularity of the Outer Banks has grown since its national exposure on a hit reality show, but those who have been traveling there for years admire the area’s subtle charm and wide-open spaces. It’s an ever-popular choice for those seeking a rejuvenating getaway, as it offers high-end dining, shopping, and entertainment. Surf the salty ocean waves, take a kayak out on the sound or explore the maritime forests. The fact that you could earn approximately $77,000 in median annual gross rental revenue from a vacation rental property in Corolla only serves to solidify the investment.

  • 1. Gulf Shores, Ala.

    A mecca of pure paradise on the Alabama coastline, Gulf Shores boasts over 32 miles of sand and white beaches. With award-winning restaurants, championship golf courses, amusement parks, and water sports, this family-friendly destination offers much more than life at the beach. The top spot on our Best Places to Buy a Beach House 2022 list, a Gulf Shores vacation home or condo will cost around $400,000 but can yield a cap rate over 10%.

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