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Why Isn't My Cape Cod Vacation Rental Booking as Well this Summer?



At Sea Shore Cape Cod Summer Rentals, it is our mission to ensure our client's properties are rented as much as possible every season, and at the highest rate the market will allow for. With that being said, pricing rentals is an art that requires a constant finger on the pulse of the rental market, with factors such as inventory, weather, demand, and property features each playing a big role in how much or how quickly our properties will fill up. We have a wealth of local and historical information that informs our CMA and pricing process, yet it remains more of an art than a science. The following graphics and data were provided by our friends at We Need a Vacation.


Now as the 2023 rental season gets underway in earnest, we've been getting a few questions from our client's, wondering why they still have vacancies despite doing so well in the past year or two. Some are even asking if the market has slowed down of if there is something wrong with their property! They're also looking for advice on how to fill their remaining weeks. Let's see what's going on, shall we?


Well, to put it simply: it's all about supply and demand.

You see, after the decline in inventory during the pandemic, there has been a ROBUST rebound, which means there are more vacation rental options available now than ever, by far. On the other hand, the demand is not as high as it was in 2022. So, vacationers have plenty of choices for their summer getaway. When internation options are an option again, a segment of travellers will embark abroad rather than drive down to the shore with the fam.




Let's take a look at the booking trends.

2021 was the peak, as vaccines started rolling out, and families were still cautious about traveling far from home. In 2022, there was a bit of a pullback, and it seems like 2023 is going to be our "new normal." It's definitely stronger than the pre-pandemic years, but still slower compared to 2020-2022.


Now, let's talk about vacationer demand.

So far in 2023, it has increased by 30% compared to 2019, but there's an 18% decrease compared to 2022. It's not surprising, though, considering the huge surge in demand we saw during the peak of the pandemic. Interestingly, there's a growing trend of vacationers booking their homes for next summer as early as the previous fall. In the past, we used to see a rush of inquiries and bookings starting in January, but now it's more spread out, starting in September of the prior year. This just goes to show the importance of having your listing up all year round to catch those early bird vacationers.



Let's take a look at the current availability status.

On average, there's about 6-11% more availability for 10 weeks of the summer season compared to last year. Now that the pandemic is over, families are traveling abroad again and taking more vacations throughout the year. Usually, the most popular weeks are the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August. As usual, the last week of August has the highest availability at 49% because schools resume around that time, and demand tends to drop.


Now, let's talk about pricing changes from 2020 to 2023.

Prices have been rising at record rates. Instead of the usual 1-3% increase, we've seen a significant jump of 5-10% or even more on average. Initially, this increase was mainly due to the high demand for vacation rentals during the pandemic. At the same time, fewer homes were available for rent because owners were using them more often themselves. So, there was a combination of increased demand and limited availability. Here's a breakdown of how rental rates have changed in all three Cape and Islands regions over the past three years:


So where does this leave you, your rental, and your available weeks?

As part of our contract for services, we stipulate that we reserve the right to adjust your rental rates based on availability, demand, and competition. We reassess the rates weekly and make adjustments as needed. If you would like to set up a time to take a look at your calender together and review your rates, we are here for you! Just follow this link to schedule a 1:1 meeting with Nichole.



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