New study: Panama City Beach best in U.S. for investment rentals

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A recent study named Panama City Beach the best place in the U.S for people to invest in vacation rentals.

The website Rented.com just published a report on the best U.S markets for people to invest in vacation rentals. Panama City Beach topped the list at number one, beating out 120 other destinations.

Local real estate brokers told NewsChannel 7 they aren't surprised.

"In the panhandle we are by far the most affordable place to come and stay," Krista Navarro, a broker with Gulf Real Estate, said. "We're also an affordable place to invest. Investors can still get a bang for their buck here. You can buy on the beach front or off the beach front and we have a strong clientele of people who want to come and spend their time here."

Navarro said affordable property prices aren't the only attraction to the area.

"Thanks to our TDC, Panama City Beach is a year-round destination," she said."

Turning Panama City Beach into more than a summer vacation hot-spot has been one of the Tourist Development Council's top priorities.

"You look at what we've done, where we used to be primarily a summer destination and now fall is building, we're doing well in late spring and now winter as well," David Demarest, the spokesman for Panama City Beach, said. "So there is room for more year round investment."

Aside from the year-round attraction, the study also took into consideration state and local tax laws.

"When you buy in Panama City Beach, you're looking at not having to pay income tax because we're in Florida so that's a great thing," Demarest said. "You're also, in Panama City Beach, not paying an ad valorem tax. Tourism powers a lot of what we do here, it means we don't have to pay a lot of taxes."

There is also the attraction of the beach itself. With 58 beach access points within city limits, the sugar white sand is never far away.