5 cities real estate investors should target in 2020, from a 20-year industry veteran with $50 billion of transactions under his belt

Raleigh North Carolina

Summary List Placement

Smart property investors should always understand the market. 

As some areas of the US battle a real estate market tormented by the coronavirus pandemic, the projected decrease in home prices over the next year could mean it’s the right time for investors to buy. 

Jason LaBonte, SVP and CIO for Crescent Communities, has led the growth of the firm’s $1.7 billion multifamily real estate portfolio, having overseen the company’s holdings going from 6,500 units closer to 10,000. And he told Business Insider that while real estate investments are great opportunities for investors, some cities have an advantage when it comes to profitability. 

LaBonte was previously a managing director for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in both New York and Charlotte, where he executed over $50 billion in transactions. He draws on over 20 years of real estate, capital markets, and private equity experience to guide his current investment strategy.

Today, as he’s largely responsible for Crescent’s asset management, he looks to current market opportunities, meaning his insight plays a key role in the firm’s asset development and disposition. 

Pointing out Charlotte, Raleigh, and Atlanta as the top three cities best positioned for developers who tend to execute deals in a two- to four-year time frame, LaBonte said the sunbelt markets will prove to have the best risk-adjusted returns for long-term investors.

“In particular, economies like Austin and Nashville that not only have dynamic economies, but also have tremendous appeal to young professionals and families who enjoy a vibrant cultural scene,” he added. 

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That said, here’s a deeper look at the five cities LaBonte said investors should keep an eye on if they’re looking to invest in real estate.  

SEE ALSO: 7 cities real estate investors should target in the 2020s, from a property management CEO who built a $3 million portfolio from scratch

1. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte is home to a population of around 850,000 and an urban-suburban mix where 53% of residents own their homes. The city is ranked 21st on the most diverse cities in America and 29th on the list of best cities to buy a house in America. 

The median home value in Charlotte is $252,438, according to Zillow, and the median rent is $1,500. 

2. Austin, Texas

With a population of just under one million, Austin is ranked 17th on the list of top US cities for young professionals, 33rd on the list of best places to raise a family in America, and 23rd on the list of best cities to live.

The city’s median home value stands at $401,999, according to Zillow, with the median rent at $1,750.

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is home to around 457,000 residents, where 52% of residents own their homes. The city is ranked 11th on the list of best cities to buy a house in America and 12th on the list of best cities to raise a family in America. 

The median home value in Atlanta is $290,270, according to

Source:: Businessinsider – Life


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