Real Estate

published : 2023-09-06

Popular Summer Vacation Destinations in the US Experience High Vacancy Rates

Vacation hotspots across the country saw vacancy rates as high as 20% this summer

Jessica Halem standing outside her rental property in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Rental properties across the country have seen fewer bookings this summer compared to past years.

Experts attribute this decline in demand to the increase in available rental properties.

During the pandemic, many individuals purchased second homes and turned them into rentals.

This surge in supply has outpaced the current level of demand, causing an inventory issue.

Ryan Castle, CEO of Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors, explains, 'We've seen more and more properties come on the market. So there's a little bit of an inventory issue of probably outpacing what we are seeing with the little bit lower demand now.'

Jessica Halem, who previously lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, started renting out her home when she and her spouse moved away for a job opportunity.

Halem experienced difficulty booking her rental and had to lower the price to attract guests.

Aerial view of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, showcasing the beautiful vacation destinations, taken with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro

She shares, 'We really didn't see any rentals until spring break, which for people who know Cape Cod, is very late for Cape Cod rentals. So we were definitely nervous about all the love and work we had put into this house.'

The downward trend in vacation home demand is significant compared to pre-pandemic levels.

According to Castle, summer occupancy in Cape Cod was down nearly 20% toward the end of June.

He adds, 'It's a little bit less now because people book last minute.'

AirDNA, a company that tracks the performance of vacation rentals, reports similar declines in other popular destinations.

Occupancy rates are down 14% in Orlando, Florida, 12% on the Jersey Shore, and 8% in San Diego, California.

Halem believes another factor contributing to the decline in demand is that people are no longer confined to domestic travel.

Guests enjoying a summer vacation in a luxurious rental property in Orlando, Florida, taken with a Sony Alpha A7R IV

She notes, 'After not being able to travel overseas during the pandemic, now people are fine getting on planes. They're fine traveling overseas.'

Castle suggests that rental owners struggling to attract bookings should consider upgrading their homes.

By improving the quality and amenities of the rental property, they may entice more guests to book.

In conclusion, popular summer vacation destinations in the US are experiencing a high rate of vacancies this year.

The increase in available rental properties, coupled with a decrease in demand, has caused rental owners to face challenges in booking their properties.

However, some individuals have managed to attract guests by adjusting rental prices or upgrading their homes.

As travel restrictions ease and international travel becomes more accessible, the demand for domestic vacation homes may continue to decline.