Top 5 Markets for Kentucky Real Estate Investors in 2024

Real Estate investors looking for returns from both cash flow and appreciation continue to love Kentucky for investment properties.  The Bluegrass State is loved by real estate investors due to many factors including a strong diversified economy, booming population and natural beauty that drives year-round visitors!  Easy Street Capital is proud to be a leading provider of rental loans for real estate investors looking to build rental portfolios in Kentucky!


Investment Property Loan Types for Kentucky Real Estate Investors


There are diverse markets and types of investment property loans to choose from in Kentucky.  Kentucky has plenty of vintage properties with great bones, but in need of renovators to restore them to their former glory. For investors adept at rehabbing older properties, hard money renovation loans are a perfect choice!  These loans allow you to buy a property quickly and fund your renovation costs too!  Once completed, you can either “flip” the property for a quick return or pursue the BRRRR Method by renting it out and then refinancing into a long-term, low-rate DSCR loan!


EasyFix             EasyRent


Investment property loans can be a useful tool for real estate investors, particularly when purchasing turnkey rental properties. The term “turnkey” refers to properties that are already rental-ready and require no further renovations. Move-in ready single-family and multi-unit homes, as well as fully furnished short-term rentals, can generate both cash flow and price appreciation. Long-term DSCR loans are generally fixed rate for thirty years, allowing investors to lock in a fixed interest rate while rents and appreciation continue to increase over time. This can be a powerful way to steadily build wealth through real estate investing.


Where To Invest In Real Estate In Kentucky


Kentucky is a bridge between two regions, the Midwest and the Southeast.  As such, Kentucky is a great state for investors that want exposure to both regions.  Louisville is the largest city in the state and boasts a diversified, growing economy.  Lexington is the state’s second biggest city and home to the University of Kentucky.  Bowling Green is a thriving city with a growing population in south-central Kentucky.  Williamstown is a hidden gem market for short term rentals in the northern part of the state.  Finally, Bardstown, known as the “Bourbon Capital of the World” is a great market for vacation rentals.





Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky with a population over 600,000.  The economic heart of the state, it has a thriving and diversified economy.  Major industries include healthcare, manufacturing and logistics.  The state of Kentucky has six Fortune 500 companies, three of which are located in Louisville.  These include Humana, Kindred Healthcare and Yum! Brands. This helps contribute to a strong and stable job market, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a very low unemployment rate of just 3.3% as of December 2023.


Unlike many other large cities with thriving economies, Louisville real estate is extremely affordable for real estate investors!  According to Redfin, the median sales price in Louisville in January 2024 was just $235,000.  This represents an increase of 14.6% year-over-year (showing solid appreciation).  In addition, according to the Zillow Observed Rent Index, the median rent in Louisville is $1,295 per month as of March 2024.  These two metrics, in combination, show a great price-to-rent ratio in this market.  This means real estate investors in Louisville can likely secure high rents for lower property prices than other similar markets!


Louisville is a vibrant city also known for its numerous events and attractions that draw in tourists throughout the year. The Kentucky Derby, Bourbon & Beyond Festival, and Forecastle Festival are just a few examples of major events that attract visitors.  Louisville is centrally located and offers easy access to popular tourist destinations such as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, and the Muhammad Ali Center.  The University of Louisville also has many strong athletic programs including football, basketball and baseball.  These provide game days throughout the year where fans from across the south flock to the city.  With many demand drivers, Louisville is also a solid market for short term rental investors.


Overall, Louisville’s robust economy, diverse attractions, and growing population make it an excellent market for real estate investors interested in both long-term and short-term rental properties.





Lexington is a rapidly growing city located in the central part of the state, with a population of over 325,000 residents. The city’s economy is diversified, with strong sectors in industries such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing.


Real estate investors can find affordable investment opportunities in Lexington, with a median sales price for a single-family home of $324,900 in January 2024, according to Redfin. The city’s relatively lower housing costs provide an attractive market for long-term rental properties, with potential for stable cash flow and attractive returns.


Lexington is also a prime market for investors specializing in niche strategies such as short-term rentals or student housing. The University of Kentucky, with its enrollment of over 30,000 students, creates a consistent demand for rental properties. Well-located properties near the university can yield higher returns, making student housing investments a lucrative opportunity.


The city is home to several cultural attractions, including the Lexington Opera House and the Mary Todd Lincoln House. Lexington also hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the Kentucky Derby Festival and the Lexington Craft Beer Week. These events attract visitors, providing an opportunity for short-term rental investors to capitalize on high-demand periods.


Overall, Lexington’s diverse attractions, growing population, and strong economy make it an attractive market for real estate investors. With its proximity to major metropolitan areas and a thriving university community, Lexington offers great potential for long-term growth and investment success.



Bowling Green


Bowling Green is a thriving city located in the southern part of the state, with a population of over 70,000 residents. The city’s economy is diverse, with industries such as automotive manufacturing, healthcare, and education playing significant roles.


Real estate investors can find attractive investment opportunities in Bowling Green, with a median sales price for a single-family home of $248,000 as of January 2024, according to Redfin. The city’s relatively affordable housing market provides an opportunity for investors to enter the real estate market at a lower cost and potentially achieve strong returns.


Bowling Green is also a great market for investors specializing in short-term rentals. The city is home to Western Kentucky University, which attracts a large number of students and visitors throughout the year. Events such as sporting events, concerts, and campus activities create a consistent demand for short-term rental properties.


The city offers various cultural attractions, including the National Corvette Museum and the Historic RailPark & Train Museum. Bowling Green also hosts several events, such as the Bowling Green International Festival and the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, which attract visitors and provide opportunities for short-term rental income.


Overall, Bowling Green’s diverse economy, affordable housing market, and strong demand for short-term rentals make it an attractive market for real estate investors. The city’s growing population and university presence contribute to a stable rental market and potential for long-term growth in the real estate sector.





Williamstown is a charming town known for its picturesque landscapes and rich history. Its small-town atmosphere and friendly community make it an appealing destination for visitors. The town offers various attractions, including the Ark Encounter, a popular biblical-themed attraction, and the William Arnold Log House, a historic landmark.


Williamstown’s natural beauty and growing tourism industry make it an attractive market for short-term rental investors. The town’s proximity to the Ark Encounter draws a significant number of visitors throughout the year. Additionally, the town hosts events such as festivals and fairs, providing opportunities for short-term rental income.


Investors in Williamstown can take advantage of the town’s welcoming atmosphere and potential for seasonal demand. While the market may experience fluctuations in occupancy during the offseason, strategic planning and marketing efforts can help maximize rental income during peak seasons.  AirDNA, a top data provider for short term rental investors, ranked Williamstown with a Market Score of 92/100 in 2024!  They cited a remarkable score of 100/100 of investability.  The small size coupled with unique demand drivers and proximity to the state’s big cities of Louisville and Lexington make it a great if overlooked market – vacation rental investors have a lot to love!


Overall, Williamstown’s unique attractions, growing tourism industry, and friendly community make it an appealing market for real estate investors interested in short-term rentals.





In Bardstown, there are solid opportunities for real estate investors due to its proximity to the “Bourbon Trail.”  The Bourbon Trail is a popular tourist attraction in Kentucky that showcases the state’s rich bourbon heritage. It is a collection of distilleries and bourbon-related attractions located throughout the central part of the state. The trail allows visitors to explore and learn about the bourbon-making process. They also can experience tastings and immerse themselves in the history and culture of bourbon production.


The Bourbon Trail includes renowned distilleries such as Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam, and Buffalo Trace, among others. Each distillery offers guided tours that provide insights into the bourbon-making process, from the sourcing of ingredients to the aging and bottling stages. Visitors can witness the craftsmanship behind one of Kentucky’s most famous exports and gain a deeper understanding of the artistry and tradition behind bourbon production.


Per AirDNA, the “investability” rating of Bardstown is sky-high at 97/100 along with an overall market score of 98/100.  They project the average investor to earn revenues over $47,500 a year despite an average home value of just $228,221 as of March 2024!  Additionally, Kentucky’s mild climate, straddling the south and Midwest, allow for low seasonality factors.  Investors who use DSCR loans from a forward-thinking lender like Easy Street Capital, which qualifies the income of the property using AirDNA projections, can likely earn a high cash flow.


Ready to Get Started?


Ready to invest in real estate in Kentucky?  Easy Street Capital is top lender for rental property loans in Kentucky, both hard money rehabs and long-term rental properties.


Request a Term Sheet


Talk to a Loan Specialist