PCB ranked #1 for best place to buy vacation rental property in 2018

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Vacation rental properties in Panama City Beach are easy to find and one national rental company says they know why.

Cruising down Front Beach Road, vacation rental signs are posted in many front yards.

"I would say as high as 80 percent of my clientele are people who do come to buy something to rent out," Karen Smith with Beachy Beach Real Estate said.

Nationally recognized company Rented.com said that's because PCB is a top place for return on real estate investments; number one to be exact.

"I'm not surprised," Smith said, "because we have the most beautiful beaches in the world and I think people are starting to see that. Instead of going to the Caribbean you can come here and have that emerald coast waters."

Looking for a way to build their retirement fund, Teresa Phillips and her husband recently bought investment property.

"We knew people who loved going to the beach and had heard good things about rental properties so we decided to test it out ourselves and have been very pleased," Phillips said.

She said not only does it generate income, but it also gives them a place to stay when they visit.

Beating out places like Chicago, Napa, and Memphis, reports say Panama City Beach gives you the most bang for your buck.

"The reason that is: we're still affordable. We're not priced out of the market yet because you can still get a 10 percent return on your money on many of the condos here," Smith said. "You can't do that many other places."

With easy access by road or by air and many local activities year-round, Phillips said buying into our community was a no-brainer in the end.

"We looked at doing it for years and hesitated and just waited and then finally when we did our first thought this year was, 'We should have done this sooner,'" she said. "In fact, now we're considering investing in another one."

Rented.com's annual report is based on purchase price, insurance, taxes, maintenance costs, popularity of the destination, and local rental rates.

Destin was number two in 2017 and Panama City Beach appeared at the top of this list in 2016.