Vaccination rates are rising and with it, many states are seeing a rise in short-term vacation home bookings as people look to embark on long-awaited getaways this summer.
“This is probably contradictory to what a lot of people may think, but it’s really one of the most exciting times in the industry right now,” Carrington Carter, the co-founder and managing partner of Getaway Society, a luxury vacation rentals company, told The New York Times.
In one example, the Times reported that by the end of March, as much as 90% of all vacation homes listed on the Vrbo website in the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, areas were already booked up for the month of July. And the vacation rental firm Vacasa said that it is anticipating more than $1.25 billion in gross bookings in 2021, almost double its number of gross bookings in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The demand for short-term vacation rentals is even higher than normal because many second-home buyers who often rent those homes have instead chosen to live in them during the lockdown period.
“With the flexibility of remote work, owners are finding that they have more time to enjoy their second homes and are renting them less, or not at all,” Carter told the Times. “This reduction in the supply of available homes to rent, coupled with increasing demand, are also factors that are driving rate increases in destinations across the country.”
One of the biggest vacation home portals, Airbnb, has said that it expects vacation rentals throughout the U.S. in July and August to average a cost of around $220 per day, compared to just $194 per day in 2020.
Demand is growing for all types of vacation homes, from large houses to studios and one-bedrooms.
In addition, property owners are reporting that more guests want to stay more than just a few days, with some opting to stay multiple weeks, further biting into inventory.
“We’re seeing an emerging trend of ‘slow travel,’ with travelers wanting to spend more time immersing themselves in a destination than they did pre-pandemic,” Mahendra Roopa, HometoGo’s director of product, told The New York Times.