If you're thinking about ponying up the mountains of money required to buy a residence in Los Angeles County, maybe pick one you don't mind living in, because you're only getting to make a small windfall renting it out—LA County's landlords are not making the amazing returns we might expect, according to a RealtyTrac study of US counties that have the lowest (and highest) rental return rates. LA County wasn't in the top 20, but a quick look at RealtyTrac's heatmap shows that it was very, very close: The median sales price for a three-bedroom house was calculated at $420,000, and the average monthly rent was around $1,890 (say the stats from the study). Using those figures, a landlord would see about a 5.4 percent gross yield annually on his or her property. That's still a gross, but probably not quite as high as landlords are hoping for in such a rental-starved city.
Orange County, which slid onto the list of worst places for landlords at number 20, has a median price of $535,000 and an average monthly rent of $2,300, which comes out to an annual return of about 5.2 percent for its average property owner.
By comparison, all of the 20 best counties for landlords have between 18 and 30 percent gross yields each year. So when you're paying your rent today, maybe look your landlord in the eye and say, "I wish it could be more."
· Best & Worst Markets for Rental Returns: Heat Map [RealtyTrac]
· It's Just Become Cheaper to Rent in Los Angeles Than to Buy [Curbed LA]