AirDNA: US rental industry boosted by strong spring break bookings

US: The latest monthly review published by short-term rental data and analytics provider, AirDNA, shows a strong start to what could be another record year for US short-term rentals, with guests booking further in advance for their trips.

Over 19 million nights were booked in January for future travel – 41 per cent higher than a year ago. Likewise, in Europe, 18.2 million nights were sold, and spring bookings are already 4.3 per cent above the same point in 2019, with international travel back on the cards.

The top US cities for spring travel are mainly for the sun-seekers: Orlando and Sarasota, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona, while destination markets Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge, Tennessee [+204 per cent], Panama City [+111 per cent] and Santa Rosa / Rosemary Beach, Florida [+110 per cent] all have more than double the bookings for spring travel than in 2019.

Notably, pandemic drive-to favourites Big Bear, California, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, are pacing down on 2021 for spring travel, which may be the initial sign of some markets reverting to pre-pandemic seasonality patterns.

Record demand brings new investment

Overall, strong demand for short-term rentals, combined with record rates, has made the industry very attractive for investors: in January, there were 58,000 new listings added in the United States, the most in a single month since the pandemic began.

AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford said: “These new additions bring the total short-term rental supply up over 1.5 million for the first time ever, a 13 per cent increase in the past year. Investors are making smart moves to bring in additional supply in the right markets.”

Strong January sets a precedent for 2022

In January, there were 47.9 per cent more nights stayed than in January 2021, a sign Omicron failed to slow down travel. Guests looking for sun and snow drove record occupancy to 50.5 per cent, with the highest levels in Maui and Big Island, Hawaii, Mammoth Lakes, California, and Breckenridge, Colorado.

Jamie Lane, VP of research at AirDNA, said: “Average rates are beginning to stabilise after an 18 per cent increase in 2021. For the summer, they have reached what may be a peak at five per cent above last year.”