Vacation Rental Resurgence: Summer Occupancy And Rental Rates Ticked Upward For The Vacation Rental Industry This Year

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Results from the recent HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report – responses from survey that polled 900 HomeAway US customers who own vacation rentals between Aug. 30 and Sept. 3, 2012.  Market trends were based on a combination of in-depth research of renter and traveler information from the HomeAway, Inc. database.

Nearly three quarters of vacation rental owners (72 percent) who have vacation rental properties where summer is considered the peak season reported occupancy rates of 76 percent or higher, an increase of 8 percent over last year. These owners also reported an average weekly rental rate of $1,493 or $213.29 per night.

Owners spend 8.6 hours per week on average managing their properties, yet generate an average of $26,000 per year in rental income

Nearly a third (30 percent) of owners say “it’s going to be a jolly holiday” for their year-end holiday vacation rental business – up from 22 percent in 2011

Overall, nearly nine in 10 vacation rental owners (87 percent) say their summer business was about the same or better than last summer.

About 43 percent of owners use the income generated from their vacation rental almost like they would a salary– for everyday living expenses, discretionary spending, and savings for the future.About 59 percent use the income to maintain or make upgrades to their rental property.  New linens, furniture, electronics, exterior maintenance, and interior painting/wallpapering are among the most common improvements made by vacation rental owners in the past 12 months.

According to the report, 47 percent of owners also report using their rental income to help pay the mortgage on the property.  Among those owners who have a mortgage on their vacation rental home, nearly half (49 percent) are able to cover at least three quarters of their mortgage payment.

Most vacation rental owners say they originally purchased their second home for personal use (33 percent) or as a long-term investment (31 percent), and half of all owners (50 percent) say they spent between one and 28 days in their vacation rental within the past 12 months.  Another 27 percent stayed for one month or longer.While many owners say work and family obligations, along with limited vacation time, prevent them from using their vacation home more frequently, they also say they’re able to rent out their homes when they’re not using them to generate extra money.  More than six in 10 owners (65 percent) say they decided to rent their homes to travelers to cover some or all of their expenses and another 23 percent started renting with the intent to turn a profit.

The top 10 markets where traveler demand is on the rise, based on a year-over-year analysis (Q2 2011 vs. Q2 2012) of inquiries from travelers looking to rent a vacation home, include:

  1. Balboa Peninsula, Calif. (up 222%)
  2. Reunion, Fla. (up 137%)
  3. Aspen, Colo. (up 127%)
  4. San Diego (up 124%)
  5. Folly Field, S.C. (up 116%)
  6. Honolulu (up 115%)
  7. Kissimmee, Fla. (up 114%)
  8. New Orleans (up 114%)
  9. Vail, Colo. (up 111%)
  10. Gulf Shores, Ala. (up 108%)

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