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As we navigate through 2024, global real estate markets present unique opportunities for buy-to-let investors. Understanding rental yield trends is critical for maximising returns and making informed investment decisions.

We have therefore decided to do some digging into the cities worldwide offering some of the best rental yields, key market trends, and strategic insights for UK investors aiming to capitalise on these opportunities.

The Importance of Rental Yield in Buy-to-Let Investments

Rental yield, defined as the annual rental income expressed as a percentage of the property’s value, is a vital metric for buy-to-let investors. It allows investors to gauge the profitability of a property, compare potential investments across different markets, and make data-driven decisions. High rental yields often signal robust rental demand, favourable property prices, or a combination of both.

Key Global Trends Influencing Rental Yields in 2024

Several global trends are shaping rental yields this year:


The continuous influx of people into urban areas for employment and lifestyle advantages drives rental demand in cities. This trend is particularly strong in tech hubs and capital cities where job opportunities are abundant.

Remote Work

The rise of remote work has diversified investment opportunities by increasing demand for suburban and rural rentals. Areas offering a high quality of life, good connectivity, and lower living costs are experiencing significant interest.

Economic Recovery

Post-pandemic recovery is stabilising rental markets globally. Economic growth and improved job markets in various regions are enhancing rental affordability and demand, contributing to better yields.

Top Cities for Buy-to-Let Investments in 2024

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon stands out as a prime destination for buy-to-let investment. The city’s vibrant culture, favourable climate, and relatively affordable property prices have attracted international investors. Lisbon’s rental market is bolstered by a growing expatriate community and a thriving tourism sector. Additionally, Portugal’s favourable tax policies, such as the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime, make it an attractive option for investors.

Best Cities for Buy-to-Let in 2024 - Lisbon

Key Neighbourhoods in Lisbon

  • Alfama: Known for its historic charm.
  • Bairro Alto: Famous for its nightlife.
  • Baixa: The city’s bustling downtown area.

The influx of digital nomads and remote workers has also increased demand for short-term rentals, particularly in well-connected and picturesque areas. This demand is further supported by Portugal’s Golden Visa programme, which attracts non-EU investors by offering residency permits for significant property investments. With average rental yields around 5-6%, Lisbon provides a balanced mix of stable returns and growth potential.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin offers a stable and lucrative rental market, underpinned by a strong economy and increasing population. Despite regulatory measures to control rent prices, Berlin continues to attract tenants due to its dynamic job market and cultural scene. The city’s rental yields, averaging 3-4%, reflect its stability and growth potential.

Key Districts in Berlin

  • Mitte: Popular among professionals and expatriates.
  • Kreuzberg: Attracts younger tenants and creatives.
  • Neukölln: Increasingly popular among students and young families.

The city’s robust public transport system and continuous infrastructural improvements make commuting easy, further enhancing its attractiveness for renters. Additionally, Berlin’s policy of rent control ensures a more stable rental income, as extreme fluctuations are mitigated. Investors should stay informed about local regulations and consider partnering with local property managers to navigate the complexities of the Berlin rental market.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow has emerged as a hotspot for buy-to-let investment due to its affordable property prices and high rental demand. The city’s vibrant student population, coupled with a burgeoning tech industry, drives rental yields of 6-7%. Krakow’s historical charm and cultural significance add to its appeal, attracting both short-term and long-term tenants.

Key Neighbourhoods in Krakow

  • Old Town: Prime location for short-term rentals.
  • Kazimierz: Popular among young professionals and students.
  • Grzegórzki: Offers opportunities for both high-end and mid-range rentals.

Krakow’s growing tech sector, with numerous startups and international companies setting up offices in the city, ensures a steady demand for rental properties. The city’s universities also contribute to a constant influx of students, requiring affordable housing options. Investors can benefit from both the high rental yields and the potential for property value appreciation as Krakow continues to develop economically.

Dubai, UAE

Dubai is renowned for offering some of the highest rental yields globally, with averages ranging from 5-8%. The city’s strategic location, tax-free status, and large expatriate population contribute to its robust rental market. Areas like Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah Village Circle are popular among investors, offering luxurious living spaces and high rental demand.

Key Areas in Dubai

  • Dubai Marina: Attracts affluent tenants seeking luxury accommodations.
  • Downtown Dubai: Prime location for business executives and tourists.
  • Jumeirah Village Circle: Appeals to middle-income expatriates and local families.

Dubai’s visionary urban development, including projects like Expo 2020, continues to draw international attention and investment. The city’s high standard of living, coupled with a strong tourism industry, ensures a constant demand for rental properties. Investors should consider the long-term potential of Dubai’s real estate market, as ongoing infrastructure projects and economic diversification efforts promise sustained growth.

Best Cities for Buy-to-Let in 2024 - Dubai

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town combines natural beauty with strong rental demand, making it a prime location for buy-to-let investments. The city’s appeal is driven by tourism and a growing number of digital nomads. Rental yields in Cape Town can reach up to 7-9%, especially in sought-after areas like the city centre, Sea Point, and Camps Bay.

Key Areas in Cape Town

  • City Centre: Attracts professionals and tourists alike.
  • Sea Point: Popular for its scenic views and vibrant community.
  • Camps Bay: Appeals to high-end renters and tourists seeking short-term stays.

Cape Town’s diverse economy, encompassing finance, technology, and creative industries, ensures a steady demand for rental properties. The city’s scenic landscapes and cultural attractions continue to draw tourists year-round, supporting the short-term rental market. Investors can benefit from both the high rental yields and the potential for property appreciation as Cape Town remains a top destination for international visitors.

Strategies for Maximising Rental Yields

Local Expertise

Collaborating with local real estate agents and property managers is crucial for navigating market specifics and complying with local regulations. Their insights can help identify the best investment opportunities and manage properties efficiently.

Property Management

Effective property management enhances tenant satisfaction, reduces vacancies, and increases rental income. Investing in professional management services can ensure properties are well-maintained and marketed to the right tenants.

Market Research

Staying informed about economic and demographic trends that affect rental demand and property values is essential. Regular market analysis can help investors anticipate changes and adjust their strategies accordingly.


Spreading investments across different cities and property types mitigates risks and maximises returns. Diversification can protect investors from market volatility and ensure a steady income stream.


The year 2024 presents an array of opportunities for buy-to-let investors seeking high rental yields. By focusing on cities like Lisbon, Berlin, Krakow, Dubai, and Cape Town, and employing strategic investment practices, UK investors can capitalise on global rental trends to achieve substantial returns. Thorough research, local expertise, and effective property management are essential to navigating the dynamic real estate market successfully.

Photos by Fox and RASUL YARICHEV

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