Short-term rentals have been on a tear lately, and they don't show any signs of slowing down. According to the latest data from Guesty, a software provider for short-term rental hosts, fall is shaping up to be a particularly strong season for STRs, especially around the holidays.
Do you own a short-term rental? Want to make sure you're prepared? Here's what you need to know heading into the back quarter of 2021.
The holidays will be big
Overall November and December reservations have already increased 157% compared to last year, and "these numbers will only increase as we move closer to both months," Guesty reports.
Thanksgiving bookings alone are up 56% compared to 2020, and compared to pre-pandemic 2019? They've risen 39%.
Even better: Nightly rates are up, too. The average now clocks in at $475 per night -- up 3% from 2020 and 59% compared to 2019. Again, Guesty projects rates to rise even more as the holidays approach.
It's not just the suburbs gaining speed
The rise of the suburbs was highly publicized during the pandemic. It's where frenzied homebuyers flocked and stir-crazy quarantiners traveled when COVID restrictions were at their tightest. It's also why urban cities saw a major exodus (and subsequent rent decline) across 2020. Fortunately, it seems those days are done -- at least on the short-term rental scene.
According to Guesty's data, big cities have more than bounced back compared to last year. In Philadelphia, bookings were up 294% this summer, while those in Chicago increased 283%. Other major cities with big surges included Phoenix; San Antonio, Texas; and San Diego.
There's still time to capitalize
Short-term rental inventory has been tight in recent months, and with demand surging, there just aren't enough properties to go around.
As Guesty puts it, "With vacation home rentals exceeding pre-pandemic levels, they are mirroring the larger real estate market, where supply is at historic lows at a time that demand is at historic highs, making the comeback of travel a challenge for those who don't already have reservations."
In short: If you don't yet have an STR (or have a property you've waffled on listing), it might be the time to pull the trigger.
The bottom line
Short-term rentals are more than back, and the fall season is shaping up to be a good one. If you have a property on Airbnb or another STR platform, make sure you're capitalizing on the surge. Ramp up your description and photos, and consider altering your pricing to better reflect demand. You can also think about adding an experience to increase your marketability.