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The home of the world-famous Big Apple tends to confuse first-time independent investors. It seems like thriving NYC is a perfect market to start. No doubt, owning property in Manhattan or neighboring areas across the East River is a dream for real estate entrepreneurs. Yet top realtors in New York suggest you take a closer look at what the state has to offer to gain experience and make a profit faster. Many beginners make the mistake of skimping on their research or neglecting advice from the industry’s experts. 

Look further than NYC!

Don’t put your eggs in one basket. The time will come for you to be able to face the competition of New York City. However, the state is relatively big and has some real estate scenes perfectly suited for beginning the Airbnb experience, long-term renting, and house flipping. Here are the top hottest markets in New York State for 2022.


Near Niagara Falls, Buffalo is the second largest city in the state. Buffalo has a growing population, stable economy, thriving job market, and expanding neighborhoods. Investment-wise, it’s a hidden gem of New York State. By consulting with the best real estate agents in Buffalo, NY, you will easily find any type of housing for investment. The current market favors the seller, because of the nationwide inventory shortage. However, once you’re in, the long-term investor would thrive in Buffalo. With a 107% increase in out-of-towners moving to Buffalo, the demand for buying and renting houses sky-rocked in the past year. 

Additionally, the city has an intriguing scene for flipping projects. Buffalo managed to stabilize the market after the pandemic. The median house price is $174,900. It’s still possible to find cheaper options for outdated houses that need renovations. The rising demand can guarantee you a fast re-sale. 

Long Island City

If you don’t want to be far from the outskirts of NYC, look into Long Island City. Long Island itself has luxury options for vacation house investments. However, the city is more welcoming to long-term rentals. The median house price reaches $1.3 million, and experts predict it to continue to increase next season. Long Island City attracts New Yorkers with comparative affordability, high quality of life, and proximity to Manhattan. The demand for single-family houses is rising, giving investors many opportunities to thrive. 


Lodo is the option for entrepreneurs seeking to invest in vacation houses to bring in quick revenue. The small town is the state’s Airbnb market. The average house cost is $224,00 with 24.6% of cash returns from vacation rentals. The numbers attract many experienced investors. With the right management strategy, a vacation house can provide you with a better income than a long-term rental. 


On the topic of vacation rentals, also consider the Ellenville market. Real estate experts predict this little town to boom in the upcoming season. The investment return from Airbnb is a mind-blowing 32%, with the median house price only $144,000. Ellenville makes a great first step for beginners to start investing in the property before jumping into riskier markets. 


Located on Lake Ontario, Rochester welcomes any type of investor. Everyone can find their niche, from holiday rentals to fixer-upper projects and long-term property investment. Rochester’s growing job market and stable economy attract more newcomers, expanding the metropolitan area. On average single-family houses cost $167,500, yet the market favors rentals, with 6 out of 10 people renting their housing. 

How to make it in the Big Apple in 2022

Buying property in NYC comes with many challenges and risks. Finding an investment property that will guarantee you quick returns is a bit of an art form, and it can be cruel to first-time real estate entrepreneurs. Yet if you’re still determined to start your real estate journey in NYC, here are two hot tips for reaching success. 

Avoid Manhattan

Manhattan has been a seller’s market with pretty high demand. Even if it seems like a good trend for first-time investors, you will be a little fish in a big pond. The Manhattan market is flooded with million-dollar corporations that have all resources to boost their property value, afford constant trendy renovations, and invest in marketing. As an independent investor, you can’t compete with that. Unfortunately, research shows that the market doesn’t work in your favor. The return is slow and, in most cases, is not enough to provide you with satisfactory income to save up enough for expanding your horizons. If you want to build revenue quickly, focus on the neighborhoods outside the island. Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx have better market options that can compete with the luxury lifestyle of Manhattan. 

Focus on fixer-uppers instead of new construction 

The big fish of the real estate industry aren’t bothered with the weathered houses in Queens or Bronx. However, the Brooklyn market is still pretty competitive. Specifically, keep an eye on Bushwick and Williamsburg because those markets offer plenty of fixer-uppers. Queens is a gold mine for beginners in housing investments. Queens offers an easy commute and attractive house prices compared to overly expensive Manhattan, attracting a growing number of New Yorkers. The local market thrives off pre-loved houses waiting for transformation. So whether you’re planning on long-term renting or resale, this stable market guarantees fast growth. 

The last word

While real estate in Manhattan can be tricky, you’re not wrong for planning to invest in New York’s housing market. The state accounts for almost 9% of GPD in the United States, thriving with various industries and a growing job market. The opportunities across the state offer more options than in NYC alone, so don’t get tunnel vision for the Big Apple. No matter what real estate market you choose to invest in, remember to find guidance from a local and qualified realtor who can help you navigate through the challenging post-pandemic times.