TurboTenant Report: The Best Places to Buy Rental Investment Property in Wisconsin

best places for rental investment in wisconsin


In this edition of The TurboTenant report, we will be focusing on the best places to buy an investment property in Wisconsin. Four towns made our list: Madison, West Allis, Kenosha, and Manitowoc.  We curated data from studies on the best places to buy an investment property, median listing price, and proprietary TurboTenant data. The TurboTenant Data includes stats on the average number of leads a rental property received, as well as the average number of days on the market. These two points will help an investor determine the strength of the rental market, as well as estimating potential vacancy rates.

Wisconsin is located in the north-central region of the U.S. in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Wisconsin comes in second behind Michigan with the most Great Lakes coastline. Wisconsin in known as “America’s Dairyland” it’s one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, particularly famous for its cheese. Other leading industries in the state include IT, cranberries, ginseng, and tourism. Wisconsin boasts over 40 campuses in its post-secondary education system. Twenty-six in the University of Wisconsin system, the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the center of that, and 16 in the Wisconsin Technical College system, as well as a number of private colleges. Coastline, cheese, colleges and sports. Wisconsinites love their sports teams. Most notably The Badgers, The Packers, The Brewers, and The Bucks.

#4: Manitowoc, WI

Manitowoc is the Maritime Capital of Wisconsin and also home to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. Manitowoc is claimed to mean “dwelling of the great spirit.” This charming town has over 13 miles of walking and biking trails along Mariners Trail, as well as a multi-million dollar full-service marina complex on its shores. Thankfully, you won’t have to pay a million dollars for a rental property in this quaint town, the median listing price is coming in at $135k with a strong average rent reported at $907. Home values are on the rise as well, increasing 11.5% year over year. Landlords are getting 33 leads per property on average, with around 56 days on the market. Manitowoc’s got spirit, yes they do.

  • Population growth: 0%
  • Employment growth:  -.05%
  • Increase in home values: 11.5%
  • Median Listing Price: $135k
  • Average Rent: $907
  • Average Number of Leads per Property: 33
  • Number of days on the rental market: 56

#3: Kenosha, WI

Kenosha is on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan with a reported population a bit south of 100k as of 2018, making it the fourth largest city in the state. Kenosha’s shoreline location is one of its biggest draws, along with its close proximity to Milwaukee and Chicago. It also has a vibrant downtown district with shops and award-winning cuisine. The median listing price is under 200k and the average rent is $1085. Home values are on the rise with an 11% increase year over year. The number of leads per property is very strong at 60 on average with a smidge over three weeks on the market. Location, location, location-Kenosha is triple threat in that department.

  • Population growth: .7%
  • Employment growth: -1.3%
  • Increase in home values: 11%
  • Median Listing Price: $170k
  • Average Rent: $1085
  • Average Number of Leads per Property: 60
  • Number of days on the rental market: 22

#2: West Allis, WI

West Allis is a suburb of Milwaukee, the reported population as of 2010 was roughly 60k. West Allis has it all – great dining, community sponsored events, bike-friendly streets, rich history, fine arts, and the Wisconsin State Fair. It also wins for the highest number of leads per property at 139, and less than a week on the market. Population and employment growth saw slight declines, home values did not, with a 16.6% increase year over year. Continuing with the affordable trends in Wisconsin, the median listing price is $155k with an average rent price of $869.

  • Population growth: -1.4%
  • Employment growth: -.5%
  • Increase in home values: 16.6%
  • Median Listing Price: $155k
  • Average Rent: $869
  • Average Number of Leads per Property: 139
  • Number of days on the rental market: 6

#1: Madison, WI

Madison is the state capital as well as the second largest city after Milwaukee. Madtown is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison – Go Badgers! Madison is number #1 on our list, and it has made #1 on quite a few other lists: NerdWallet ranked it the #1 “Greenest City in America,” Yahoo.com said it was one of “The Best Cities on Earth for Biking,” and USA Today said it was the #1 “Best College Football Town.” Madison reported positive gains across the board-population growth is up 3.1%, employment growth at 1.1% and home values have increased 9.6% year over year. The median listing price is $258k with strong average rent prices at $1265. The number of leads per property is nearly 70 with under two weeks on the market. You would be mad not to invest in Madison, our number one rental investment pick in Wisconsin.

  • Population growth: 3.1%
  • Employment growth: 1.1%
  • Increase in home values: 9.6%
  • Median Listing Price: $258k
  • Average Rent: $1265
  • Average Number of Leads per Property: 68
  • Number of days on the rental market: 13

Once you’ve landed the perfect investment property in a good location, TurboTenant can help take your landlording into the digital world by streamlining the rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.

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About the TurboTenant Report

The TurboTenant Report analyzes data from active listings across all 50 states, as well as third party real estate, population and employment growth data. Our goal with the TurboReport is to empower seasoned and novice investors to make wise purchasing decisions when purchasing a rental investment property. For more information or custom data requests, please contact [email protected].


In order to determine the best cities to invest in each state, we curated data from a number of reputable sources as well as using TurboTenant proprietary data. Our main city selections were taken from a study that evaluated four main factors for each city: employment growth, population growth, increase in home values and rental yield. We combined that with TurboTenant data on the average rent price, the number of rental leads per property, as well as the average number of days the rental stays on the market.

We also included an honorable mention where applicable. They are pulled from this study on the best places to invest in every state. These were determined using Zillow’s Buyer-Seller Index and Zillow Home Value Forecast, and AreaVibes’ Livability Score. Other methods for determining honorable mentions include using TurboTenant proprietary data to determine which cities return the best rental investment R.O.I. using data points including days on market, the number of leads per property, and average rent price.

DISCLAIMER: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.



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