• For the second year in a row, Williams, North Dakota, ranked as the top county in the nation for real estate investment by SmartAsset.
  • Five Texas counties ranked in the top 10 for the nation's best real estate investment communities.
  • Harris County is the top county in the state of Texas for real estate investing, followed by Collin County and Travis County.

Investing in real estate can have big rewards, but also big risks. When calculating the next place to look for an investment property or aiding a client in the hunt, it’s important to consider local economic conditions like business growth, new building permits and gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

SmartAsset recently released its second annual list of the top counties for real estate investment based on the investment in the local community, measuring growth conditions for four specific components, all of which were measured equally and combined to find the final ranking of cities. The final ranking is the Incoming Investment Index, and the county with the largest gain of investment received a 100. The county with the lowest amount of incoming investment had an index of 0.

For the second year in a row, Williams in North Dakota ranked as the top county in the country for investment. The community saw a 37.7 percent growth in businesses since 2015, $664 million in GDP growth and a perfect 100 for its Incoming Investment Index. Williams also had 61.5 new building permits per 1,000 homes.

Texas was a big state on the list with five of its cities ranking in the top 10. Harris ranked no. 2, followed by Collin at no. 4, Travis at no. 7, Fort Bend at no. 8 and Dallas at no. 10.

Ranking no. 5, Los Angeles was the biggest city to make the list. The city saw 5.6 percent growth in business and $44.614 billion in GDP growth.

Business establishment growth was measured over a three-year period, during which county-wide new businesses were considered. GPD growth was adjusted with inflation. Local residential real estate building and new permits were calculated per 1,000 homes. Municipal bond debt that was raised in the last five years was divided by the population number.

Real estate investing in Texas

According to SmartAsset, the best opportunities to invest in real estate in Texas are in Harris County, the home of Houston. Harris County has seen business growth of 6.1 percent since 2015, which is lower than most of the other counties ranked — besides Dallas County — but it’s higher than the state of Texas as a whole.

LaSalle County had the largest amount of business growth in the state, at 51.7 percent, but GDP growth was just $54 million. Harris County had a whopping $38.815 billion in GDP growth. New building permits were the highest in Collin County, which had 45.1 permits per 1,000 homes.



The state of Texas has a whole has 4.2 percent business growth since 2015 and $1,080 million in GDP growth. The state also has a reported 6.1 new building permits per 1,000 homes.

Email Kimberly Manning

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