Marketing Your Vacation Rental

Is the Rental Market Beginning to Soften?

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
2.4/5 - (8 votes)

Although website traffic and inquiries continue to be very strong versus pre-pandemic numbers, the demand from vacationers seems less frenzied now than this time last year. Could it be that the white-hot market is showing some signs of cooling?

What’s changed

On the supply side, we are continuing to add a steady number of new listings every week. Inventory had been down due to the pandemic, which enabled many homeowners to live and work from their second homes. But most homeowners are now returning to work and looking to once again have their rental homes defray their costs. And those costs have only increased as inflation soars.

A number of homes still have availability – especially those whose listings weren’t active last fall and early winter. And many homes, which may have had the popular weeks booked for months, are still available for the less popular weeks during the early and late summer or the shoulder season, which had done very well during the pandemic.

The chart below shows the current (mid April)  significant increase in availability for the early and last weeks of the summer:

On the demand side, life is finally starting to return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Where the Cape and Islands enabled folks in the pandemic to vacation safely not far from home, they can now expand their geographical options, flying farther afield domestically and even internationally. In addition, rental prices on the Cape and Islands have risen to the point that many vacationers no longer find them as affordable as they once were.

No need to panic

While an enormous number of vacationers did book early again this year, there are still many who are looking now – and many others who will continue to book right through the summer. (Note: Historically, July is the second busiest month of the year for bookings, after only January.) But the season is no longer so hot this year that you can sit back and do nothing and still expect to fill every week of availability.

What you can do to fill vacancies

If you are late to list your home or still have vacancies for whatever reason, take a look at our marketing tips about how to fill them. Most are fairly simple and free to do.

View Marketing Tips

And don’t wait – the sooner you take pro-active steps, the better the odds are that you will succeed.

About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family for nearly a century. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV Homeowner Support Team, I endeavor to keep my finger on the pulse of the Cape and Islands vacation rental industry so that I can provide homeowners advice about how to ensure their booking success with us. With owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the text on our website, our monthly newsletters, and Homeowner Blog posts.

1 Comment

  • Are there any differences in the level of bookings and the (continuing) demand for stays on the Cape vs Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket? It appears availability is very tight on the Vineyard – but I do not have the benefit of any data to support my observations. My impressions are completely anecdotal. Thank you!