After having dropped slightly during the month of August, short-term rental demand climbed back above 2019 levels for the month of September and points to an encouraging forthcoming holiday season.
According to AirDNA’s latest market review report, short-term rental demand in the United States for September was 4.7% higher than in 2019 and 33.7% higher compared to 2020 levels.
Occupancy for the month, however, dropped to 59% from 66.7% in August – a typical drop in occupancy for the period – but represented a 4.6% gain from last year and a 12.8% increase from 2019.
According to AirDNA data, that 59% was the highest occupancy ever recorded for the month of September.
In coastal and mountain destinations, occupancy was around 30% higher for September 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, pointing to more people choosing to work more flexibly.
The demand outside of urban destinations has led to an influx of new supply, bringing listing counts back up to pre-pandemic levels, the report continues.
“In Q3, an average of 1,620 new listings were added to Airbnb and Vrbo daily, mostly in small cities and rural areas,” says AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford.
“Savvy Rentalpreneurs are capitalizing on the opportunity this sector presents for investors.”
In urban locations, demand dropped for a second consecutive month and was down 36.1% compared to 2019.
Meanwhile, average daily rates (ADRs) remained well above 2019 levels, up 24.6% and averaging $253 in September. AirDNA predicts demand throughout the U.S. heading into the fall and winter will keep prices high, and ADRs are pacing 10 to 15% higher than 2020 levels for the rest of 2021.
As of early October, nights booked for the fourth quarter of 2021 are 12.9% higher compared to the same period in 2019 and 52.6% higher compared to 2020.
The increase is largely driven by a much higher level of trips booked for Thanksgiving weekend, which is pacing 31% higher than 2019 and 65% higher than 2020.
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Meanwhile, the week of Christmas and New Year’s is pacing 89% higher than 2020 but only about 4% higher compared to 2019.
The increased booking activity has pushed rates 30% higher than what travelers paid in 2019. Overall, ADRs are at about $346 for Thanksgiving weekend and $415 for the week of Christmas through New Year’s.
“The strong levels of demand for this fall and winter, coupled with higher prices, is making it a great time to own and operate a short-term rental in the U.S.,” the AirDNA report states.
“While it’s hard to predict how long the good times will last, we expect the positive trends for the sector to continue well into 2022. With more and more people experiencing the quality and convenience of booking and staying in a short-term rental for the first time over the past 18 months, the future looks bright for years to come.”