Consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and retire, Savannah has quickly become one of the best cities to invest in real estate, because it has something for everyone.
The city has an official Historic District, a vibrant downtown area with great shopping and dining options, and multiple nearby beaches. Georgia’s oldest city also boasts a growing tech sector and booming film industry, which has created higher rental demand.
This is all great news for real estate investors looking to invest in Savannah’s rental market. Savannah is a popular tourist city, which keeps short-term rentals like Airbnb full, while the city’s growing tech sector is luring people to the city, which benefits investors with long-term rentals.
Georgia’s Film Industry
Not only is it one of the best places to buy investment property, but the state of Georgia consistently ranks as the best state for business. Area Development, a corporate site selection and facility planning resource, named Georgia the top state for businesses seven years running. Georgia’s film and TV industry has played a huge role in that. Atlanta’s films and shows may get the headlines, but Savannah is no stranger to the film industry. It was the primary filming location for “Forrest Gump,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” and “Cape Fear.” Monterey Square, Forsyth Park, Bonaventure Cemetery, and the Mercer Williams House were featured in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” based on a murder at the Mercer Williams House.
Georgia’s film and TV industry have played a huge role in Savannah and Atlanta’s population and economic growth. COVID-19’s impact on the industry was catastrophic, but 2021 brought new life into Savannah’s film industry.
“Halloween Ends,” the latest installment in the slasher series, was filmed in Savannah in 2021, creating revenue and jobs in the city. Perhaps the largest boom to the city’s film industry is Kat-5 Studios, a 13,000-square-foot soundstage that is projected to open in 2023. The studio will span 30 acres and offer a $40 million direct investment into the city. This will continue to expand the film industry’s direct investment in Savannah’s economy, which already topped $125 million in 2019.
Growing Rental Demand in Savannah
Recently, Savannah has experienced a growing demand for rental property, but the city is experiencing a tight housing inventory. The Savannah real estate market has been snapped up by Northerners, driving listing prices up an average of $50,000 in just six months.
In February 2022, Savannah home prices were up 19% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $287K. On average, homes in Savannah sell after 38 days on the market compared to 66 days last year.
Savannah is one of the more expensive places to own a home, indicating a potentially strong demand for rental property in the Savannah metro area. Despite the tight inventory, Savannah is one of the best cities to invest in rental properties because of the city’s increasing rents.
In the Savannah rental market, rent increased 21% between 2020 and 2021 with the average rent falling around $1,300. Nearly 46% of Savannah’s rents fall between $1,000 and $1,500, and close to 54% of the housing units in Savannah are occupied by renters.
Booming Job Market
Savannah has been described as an “economic star” because of its broad economic foundation. Defense and aerospace, tourism, healthcare and education, and the city’s deep-water seaport are just a few reasons why the job market in Savannah is staying strong and steady.
From December 2020 to October 2021, Savannah’s employment growth rate reached 5%, with more than 8,000 new jobs created in the market. The city’s unemployment rate has fallen steadily since the height of the pandemic in April 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Savannah’s current unemployment rate is 2.3%.
Key industry sectors in Savannah include transportation, tourism, military and defense, manufacturing, healthcare, high tech and innovation, and film and entertainment. Job sectors in Savannah showing the fastest signs of growth include professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and information technology.
Savannah has been offering a relocation incentive to lure tech workers to the metropolitan area. Forbes reports that the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) aims to lure out-of-state technology workers to the area to continue boosting the region’s technology industry.
What Does Savannah’s Rental Market Mean for Investors?
While inventory might be harder to find in Savannah, investors with strong real estate investment strategies can still profit.
Real estate investors may want to move fast once they find a good single-family home to buy. If you want to move quickly, you need the right lender capable of financing rental property loans in Georgia. Investors have several options when it comes to hard money lenders in Georgia, but Lima One Capital has the best rental options for investors. With a solid rental loan program, rental loans for investors, and rental portfolio loans, Lima One is here to help you get into the Savannah real estate market.
We’re able to move quickly when you find the right opportunity when it comes to buying investment property in Georgia. Contact us today to discuss your next deal, or if you have a deal in hand, you can speed up the process by applying now.