Landlords in Tourist Hot Spots Look to Lengthen Leases

May 20, 2020

Several traditionally daily and short-term rental owners in tourism hot spots are reportedly transitioning their properties from Airbnb and Vrbo rentals to longer-stay and even seasonal rentals, a new analysis from realtor.com® shows. Tourist destinations are seeing an uptick in furnished seasonal rentals being offered, as hosts look to lock tenants into one- to three-month leases, realtor.com® notes.

“Many short-term vacation rental owners rely on rental income to pay the property bills and meet their mortgage obligations,” says George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com®. “If people aren’t traveling or don’t feel comfortable staying in someone else’s home—that lost income could lead to missed payments or even foreclosure. For this reason, owners are looking for seasonal renters, who can provide occupancy and income for a longer period and give owners the breathing room to weather the current drop in short-term demand.”

The largest jumps in seasonal rentals year over year have occurred in the following areas:

  • Nashville, Tenn.: +185%
  • Austin, Texas: +160%
  • Orlando, Fla.: +82%
  • Las Vegas: +56%
  • Chicago: + 49%
  • San Antonio: +49%
  • New Orleans: +48%
  • Honolulu: +47%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.: +42%
  • Bridgeport, Conn.: +35%

“In the short run, it’s unlikely that we’ll see many of these units turn into more traditional rentals, as owners can likely make more money with seasonal furnished rentals,” Ratiu says. “However, the longer COVID alters consumer behavior, the more difficult it will be for vacation rental owners to cobble seasonal leases together, and this could eventually mean an increase in for-sale inventory in these markets.”

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