Short-term rental rates rise near Chicago

US: Though the Chicago hospitality market is still struggling as a result of the pandemic, areas within driving distance of the city are seeing rate growth. 

According to AirDNA, bookings on Airbnb rose 200 per cent in popular vacation spots Saugatuck, Michigan, and Lake Geneva and Door County, Wisconsin.

Tim Radunez, a local host, said that revenues rose by 15 per cent over 2019 in spite of the pandemic. Radunez rents out three homes in Door County, and the increased demand has allowed him to raise his rates.

Rentals in Chicago itself have significantly fallen, however. The city recorded 46 per cent fewer reservations this June than in 2019.

According to short-term rental provider Kasa Living, its Chicago units have seen a 25 per cent decrease in bookings. The company leases out nearly 100 apartments in downtown Chicago.

This follows the rest of the US, where domestic bookings have been able to make up for the falling demand in urban centres. Short-term rentals across the US have seen minor growths in rural areas as opposed to cities, which have been the usual site of market growth.

This trend has affected the rest of the world as well, as much of the resurgence in European demand is attributed to the rise in domestic bookings. Avantio has noted that over half of bookings in Spain, France, Portugal and Italy are from domestic travellers.

Rentals also continue to outperform hotels in midwestern cities, whose occupancy rate hovers around 35 per cent. That rate is lower in downtown hotels, as guests hope to avoid lobby areas.

Chicago has considered placing stricter regulations on short-term rentals for both hosts and companies. The mayor has proposed a tightening of enforcement on single night stays, which some believe leads to party houses, and adding to city powers for enforcement on hosts.