Short-Term Rentals Bookings on the Rise in U.S. Destinations
Travel demand is spiking and the U.S. saw occupancy rise to 60.9% for the month of March. That is the highest March occupancy on record. Spring Break crowds flocking to coastal destinations was the key driver behind March demand this year, with the four highest markets in terms of occupancy levels coming from Florida. Sarasota registered the highest occupancy of the Top 50 largest short-term rental markets at 77.2%, followed by Cape Coral/Fort Myers (75.2%), Fort Lauderdale (74.1%), St. Petersburg (73.5%), and the Big Island, HI (72.5%). The numbers come from AirDNA’s monthly review.
“High occupancy levels in traditional Spring Break markets in Florida were not surprising,” said Jamie Lane, VP of Research for AirDNA. “The most distinctive shift we noticed was the 30% gains in occupancy in markets like Cape Cod and the Lower Hudson Valley. These markets usually see a lull in demand until summer but due to their close vicinity to New York and Boston they have become a sanctuary for city dwellers craving a fresh sea breeze, even before the unrelenting heat hits.”
It is worth noting that occupancy gains were broadly a result of a recovering demand and a reduction in the available supply of short-term rentals. This month’s demand level was 97% of March 2019 demand, which is the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic.
Demand in March 2021 for urban areas is still lagging. It reached just 55% of its 2019 level. Small city and rural locations, on the other hand, are attracting more guests than ever before and are now at 165% of 2019 demand. Destination/resort locations have also continued to benefit and are now trending ahead of previous years.
Reservations made during March 2021 reached another record, exceeding last month’s all time high. With this unmatched surge in future reservations during the first three months of the year, now April, May, June, and July 2021 has more demand booked than it did in early April 2019. “Looking at this data we are expecting a record summer for the short-term rental industry” AirDNA’s CEO Scott Shatford said.