Vacation home deck overlooking a beach.

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Short-Term Rentals Prove to Be Investment Gold

July 6, 2021

According to a Trip Advisor survey from this spring, more than two-thirds of Americans said they plan to travel during this summer. Investors are discovering greater interest in their short-term vacation rentals, and business is booming.

Occupancy rates surged 21% in May compared to pre-pandemic levels from May 2019, according to AirDNA, a real estate company that collects data on Airbnb and Vrbo short-term rentals. Prices to rent vacation properties have increased by about 8.3% over the past year.

“There’s a very big opportunity to buy cheap and make a lot of money in return,” Luis D. Ortiz, a real estate broker who also stars on Netflix’s “World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals,” told realtor.com®. “Vacation rentals give you something that hotels can’t give, and it’s that sense of home.”

Realtor.com®’s research team identified the hot spots with the most profitable real estate markets for those wanting to purchase a property list on short-term rental sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. They found that smaller resort towns in remote locations that offer a big connection to the outdoors are surging in demand. Many are also within driving distance to larger cities.

Here are the top seven areas showing some of the most profits in short-term rentals, according to realtor.com®’s findings:

1. Joshua Tree, Calif.

  • Median list price: $525,050
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 113%
  • Average daily rate: $268

2. Sea Isle City, N.J.

  • Median list price: $1.2 million
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 82%
  • Average daily rate: $432

3. Lincoln City, Ore.

  • Median list price: $764,950
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 72%
  • Average daily rate: $250

4. Sedona, Ariz.

  • Median list price: $895,050
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 65%
  • Average daily rate: $264

5. Blue Ridge, Ga.

  • Median list price: $599,950
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 60%
  • Average daily rate: $275

6. Leavenworth, Wash.

  • Median list price: $799,050
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 56%
  • Average daily rate: $310

7. St. George, Utah

  • Median list price: $635,050
  • Annual change in revenue generated: 56%
  • Average daily rate: $169

View the full list at realtor.com®.