Real Estate

Short-Term Rental Demand Soars — And Holidays Are Getting Booked Fast

Thanksgiving bookings have surged 65 percent year over year while the week between Christmas and New Year has skyrocketed 89 percent, according to short-term rental analytics firm AirDNA.

Short-term rental demand back to 2019 levels: AirDNA

Short-term rentals are already getting booked for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s

After dipping modestly in August, short-term rental demand rose 33.7 percent year over year in September, with interest corralling in vacation destinations including Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach and the Ozarks.

Short-term rental revenue surged to $14.5 billion in the third quarter of 2021, with 59 percent of all short-term rental properties occupied, according to short-term rental analytics firm AirDNA. While rates in September failed to meet the peak of the summer, occupancy for the month was 4.6 percent higher than in 2020 and 12.8 percent higher than in 2019, when travel was significantly curbed by the COVID-19 outbreak.


In popular vacation destinations like Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head occupancy soared approximately 30 percent higher than in 2020. Bookings for Thanksgiving are already 65 percent higher than in 2020 while the week between Christmas and New Year is set to be 89 percent higher than in 2020.

Cities with the biggest growth in demand include Florida’s Panama City (97.6 percent) and South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach (82 percent). And while New York is known for its window displays and Rockefeller Center skatings, bookings are more than 50 percent below what was seen in 2020.

“In Q3, an average of 1,620 new listings were added to Airbnb and Vrbo daily, mostly in small cities and rural areas,” AirDNA CEO, Scott Shatford, said in a statement. “Savvy Rentalpreneurs are capitalizing on the opportunity this sector presents for investors.”


Outside of holiday travel, South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach,  Tennessee’s Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge and Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, with a respective 2,754, 2,126 and 1,931 new listings, tallied big gains over the past two years. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO added approximately 150,000 new listings to its platforms in the past quarter but their owners also pulled 125,000 listings, leaving a net gain of around 25,000 additional listings.

“Demand for this fall and winter is already elevated with travelers booking early to secure the best properties for holidays with their friends and family,” Jamie Lane, AirDNA VP of Research, said in a statement. “With the return of international travel, we also expect urban market demand to start accelerating.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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