Northeast Ohio Market Report

We began investing in rental properties Northeast Ohio five years ago and we haven’t looked back. As New York residents, there was a multitude of reasons why we chose this market– specifically the Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown areas.

In this report, you’ll discover why the Northeast Ohio market is hands-down one of the best turnkey rental property markets you’ll find anywhere– even in these uncertain times.

Our Key Markets

The largest city on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio has the largest population and metropolitan economy in the entire state of Ohio. In the early 19th century Cleveland first grew into a major manufacturing center as a result of its central location as a port city on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, as well as its numerous canals and railroad lines.

Thirty miles to the south lies Akron, Ohio. Once considered the rubber capital of the country, Akron was home to the all the major rubber companies, including The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Fifty miles to the east lies Youngstown, Ohio, the county seat of Mahoning County. Traditionally known as a center of steel production, Youngstown was forced to redefine itself when the U.S. steel industry fell into decline in the 1970s. In the last 10-15 years, with the introduction of new jobs and expanding opportunities, the area has seen a revitalization.

For example, in nearby Lordstown, GM has constructed a new plant where it will produce Ultium batteries for the automaker’s upcoming electric car models. As we speak they're in the process of hiring 1,100 new employees for this new venture.

Northeast Ohio Investment Property Market

Emerging Innovation Economy

Today the Greater Metropolitan Cleveland area, which includes the Akron metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), comprises a total population of 2.8 million people.

Once an industrial center that focused solely on manufacturing, Northeast Ohio has an emerging innovation economy, with a focus on research, education and healthcare. 

Residents in Northeastern Ohio report an above average quality of life:

  • Relatively low cost of living
  • Leading colleges and universities
  • Excellent healthcare facilities
  • Ample employment opportunities
  • Great public transportation
  • Minimal traffic delays
  • Urban arts & vibrant culture
  • Easy access to outdoor activities, boating, kayaking, hiking and biking

Excellent Price Points

The dollar stretches further in Northeast Ohio. According to EMSI data, the cost of living in Akron in 2019, was only 93 percent of the U.S. average cost of living. This applies to both renters as well as real estate investors.

Last year Cleveland was rated the 10th best buyer holding market in the entire country.

That’s why we invest in Northeast Ohio. It’s a numbers game. When price points are significantly lower, returns are significantly higher.

Simply put, there aren’t many places where you can purchase a $50,000 rental property that will command double digit returns from a 100% passive investment!

Graph illustrating low cost of living in Northeast Ohio

Amazon Loves Northeast Ohio

Amazon has been in this market since 2010– and it just keeps expanding!

In fact, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, since 2010 Amazon has created more than 23,500 jobs in Ohio and invested more than $5.9 billion across the state.

Most recently, Amazon has transformed an empty mall into a new distribution center. This will open up a whopping 1,500 jobs for which they are currently accepting job applications from local residents!

Additionally, Amazon is moving one of their corporate offices to downtown Cleveland. This is a huge boon to the local economy, strengthening home values and creating an increasing need for quality rentals homes.

Booming Healthcare System

Another fantastic aspect of the Northeastern Ohio market, is its robust healthcare system that includes nationally ranked providers, booming biomedical companies, a leading medical and pharmacy school and cutting-edge research universities.

Akron Children’s Hospital

The Akron Children’s Hospital has been caring for children since 1890. It now leads the nation in pediatric specialties and boasts four health centers and over 50 primary and specialty care locations throughout Ohio. The Akron Children’s Hospital is the number one employer in the city of Akron. It’s a huge asset to the region and continues to expand its services in the area.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General

Cleveland Clinic Akron General is one of the largest hospitals in the Midwest and the third largest employer in the area. It’s main campus in downtown Akron includes a 532 registered-bed teaching and research medical center. In 2018, the hospital more than tripled the size of its emergency department when it opened a new state-of-art main campus Emergency Department.

In 2019 the Cleveland Clinic Akron General invested $6 million in radiation oncology technology. Most recently, the Cleveland Clinic was named the #2 hospital in the nation and the #1 hospital for heart care in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings.

Summa Healthcare System

Summa Healthcare System is the largest employer in the in Summit County with more than 7,000 employees. Summa encompasses a network of hospitals, community-based health centers, a physician hospital group, multi-specialty group practice, innovative research and medical education, as well as the Summa Foundation.

During its two years of construction, the seven-story Summa Tower employed 180 tradespeople and some 250 skilled laborers. The 340,000 square foot facility boasts 108 private patient rooms, 11 state-of-the-art operating rooms and 67 same-day surgery suites!

Research & Education

Additionally, Ohio’s public universities added $42 billion to the state’s economy in fiscal year 2016-2017. In fact, Ohio’s public universities currently support over 558,000 jobs in the state.

Low Vacancy Rates

The emerging economy and ample employment opportunities described above put the vacancy rates in Northeast Ohio among some of the lowest in the country. In fact, Akron actually has the 8th lowest vacancy rate in the country.

Leasing has always been the easiest part of the True Turnkey process. On average, it takes us 30 days or less to obtain a qualified tenant in our market area. And our turnaround time decreases to an average of 14 to 20 days during primes season.

At any given time, there are more tenants looking for rentals than there are properties available for rent. Likewise, whenever a property becomes available for lease, there's a long list of qualified applicants which allows us leeway to choose the only the best tenants.

Landlord Friendly

Landlord-friendly regulations are essential to the success of any turnkey investor. It’s a big box to check off when considering where to invest a turnkey rental property.

Thankfully, state and local regulations in Ohio are not nearly as constrictive as many other areas of the country.
In New York, for example, landlord-tenant law is written such that it primarily protects the tenant. It’s common for the eviction process to drag on for several months, leaving you, the landlord, paying out of pocket for your holding costs.

By contrast, Ohio’s landlord-tenant laws empower landlords to evict tenants for non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms and illegal acts. Upon lease violation, a landlord may immediately issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit, after which they may choose to issue an eviction notice if the tenant hasn’t cured the terms of the lease.

Landlords in the Ohio market maintain more rights than do landlords in most other states. That’s why Ohio was recently ranked as the 10th most landlord-friendly state in the country.

Of course, as a turnkey investor your property manager will handle the day-to-day management of your rental property. Moreover, evictions are a rarity. The point is, it’s much easier to be a hands-off passive investor when you’re operating in a landlord friendly state such as Ohio.

Economic Outlook

OK, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. If you’re like everyone else, you’re wondering how the market is holding up post-pandemic?

Believe it or not, the vacancy rates in the Akron/ Cleveland/ Youngstown area have remained low throughout the uncertainties of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Whereas a lot of other markets were hit tremendously hard by the pandemic, our market wasn't nearly as affected. In the spring, during the heart of the lockdown, things were business-as-usual for a large percentage of the northeastern Ohio workforce.

Much of the blue collar workforce is involved in manufacturing and shipping, such as those working for Amazon, were deemed essential workers. Similarly, healthcare workers were also largely unaffected by the lockdown.

Also, when it came to buying and selling properties, our whole process– from start to finish– stayed operational. Residential construction, title transfers, leasing, property management– all of those items were deemed essential job functions.

Throughout the pandemic True Turnkey has continued operating business-as-usual, whereas other markets weren’t so fortunate. And that continues to be the outlook into the foreseeable future.

Andrew Schnall, Senior Client Advisor

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Earning passive income can be life changing. As the Senior Client Advisor at True Turnkey, I can help you figure out if turnkey properties are right for you.