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Vacation property rentals outpaced hotels this summer as owners enjoyed strong bookings that were as good as or better than last year.

Vacation Rental Rates Rose 19 Percent this Summer

Vacation property rentals outpaced hotels this summer as owners enjoyed strong bookings that were as good as or better than last year.

More than half (51 percent) of owners cover at least three quarters of their mortgage payment renting their home to travelers, according to the HomeAway Vacation Rental Report.

Vacation rental occupancy rates (77 percent) outpaced hotels (70 percent) for summer season. These owners reported an average weekly rental rate of $1,778 ($254 per night), a 19 percent increase over the same time period in 2012.

Nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) vacation rental owners say their summer bookings were “about the same”,” better than” or “significantly better than” the summer of 2012

For the second consecutive year, nearly nine in 10 vacation rental owners (86 percent) report their summer business was about the same or better than last summer. And 95 percent of vacation rental owners said they did not lower their rental rates from last summer-23 percent even increased their rental rates.

“It’s clear from this year’s report our owners are utilizing their vacation homes as assets to help pay their expenses and even turn a profit,” says Brian Sharples, co-founder and chief executive officer of HomeAway. “Nothing makes me more proud than aiding our owners and property managers in filling their vacation rentals.”

One of the top concerns of vacation home owners prior to opening their homes to travelers includes concern of losing money (23 percent). But the survey debunks this myth: among those owners who have a mortgage on their vacation rental home, more than half (51 percent) are able to cover at least three quarters of their mortgage payment-an increase of six percent year-over-year from summer 2012. Additionally, nearly three-quarters (70 percent) cover at least half of their mortgage payment-an increase of six percent over last year.

Thirty-nine percent (39 percent), of owners originally purchased their vacation home for personal use. As such, there is a concern among 35 percent of owners that once the home begins to rent, they aren’t able to utilize the property for personal use any longer. However, nearly two-thirds of owners (66 percent) spent up to 28 days in their vacation rental in the past twelve months, and the majority (76 percent) of owners cites personal or work reasons for not being able to spend more time in their vacation rental, not guest bookings.

Another 15 percent of owners classify their vacation rental as a future retirement home. The average age in which owners purchased their vacation homes was 48 years old-six years younger than owners in 2012-and the average age in which owners began renting their vacation homes was 50 years old-also six years less than owners in 2012.

“Consistent with what we have seen from the National Association of Realtors year after year, vacation home buyers are getting younger, realizing the benefits of purchasing their future retirement home early and paying down the mortgage by renting it,” says Sharples.

For those considering making an otherwise vacant vacation home available for rent, or purchasing a vacation home, traveler demand to fill these homes is rising in the Florida Panhandle with Fort Walton Beach, Navarre Beach and Pensacola/Pensacola Beach leading the country as a vacation destination. Compared to this same time last year, the growth of inquiries and new vacation rental listings in the Florida Panhandle is rivaled by its neighbors Captiva & Sanibel Island and North Carolina’s Outer Banks region, which shows strong performance from Duck, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, and Kill Devil Hills.

Although, it’s not just beach destinations increasing in both supply and demand. Ski spots Keystone and Durango, Colo. are peaking along with Park City, Utah. Perhaps a dark horse in these burgeoning vacation rental markets is Sunriver, Ore., boasting a 77 percent growth in vacation rental listings and complementary traveler demand growth as well.

The top 10 markets where traveler demand is on the rise, based on a year-over-year analysis (Q2 2012 vs. Q2 2013) of inquiries from travelers looking to rent a vacation home, include:

Keystone, Colo.

Sebago Lake, Maine

Outer Banks, N.C.

Sunriver, Ore.

Port Aransas, Texas

Captiva Island & Sanibel Island, Fla.

Florida Panhandle

Austin, Texas

Savannah, Ga.

Orlando, Fla.

Top Markets with Largest Increase in Traveler Demand

Sunriver, Ore.

Park City, Utah

Bryson City, N.C.

Durango, Colo.

Isle of Palms, S.C.

Florida Panhandle

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Ala.

Vacation property rentals outpaced hotels this summer as owners enjoyed strong bookings that were as good as or better than last year.

More than half (51 percent) of owners cover at least three quarters of their mortgage payment renting their home to travelers, according to the HomeAway Vacation Rental Report.

Vacation rental occupancy rates (77 percent) outpaced hotels (70 percent) for summer season. These owners reported an average weekly rental rate of $1,778 ($254 per night), a 19 percent increase over the same time period in 2012.

Nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) vacation rental owners say their summer bookings were “about the same”,” better than” or “significantly better than” the summer of 2012

For the second consecutive year, nearly nine in 10 vacation rental owners (86 percent) report their summer business was about the same or better than last summer. And 95 percent of vacation rental owners said they did not lower their rental rates from last summer-23 percent even increased their rental rates.

“It’s clear from this year’s report our owners are utilizing their vacation homes as assets to help pay their expenses and even turn a profit,” says Brian Sharples, co-founder and chief executive officer of HomeAway. “Nothing makes me more proud than aiding our owners and property managers in filling their vacation rentals.”

One of the top concerns of vacation home owners prior to opening their homes to travelers includes concern of losing money (23 percent). But the survey debunks this myth: among those owners who have a mortgage on their vacation rental home, more than half (51 percent) are able to cover at least three quarters of their mortgage payment-an increase of six percent year-over-year from summer 2012. Additionally, nearly three-quarters (70 percent) cover at least half of their mortgage payment-an increase of six percent over last year.

Thirty-nine percent (39 percent), of owners originally purchased their vacation home for personal use. As such, there is a concern among 35 percent of owners that once the home begins to rent, they aren’t able to utilize the property for personal use any longer. However, nearly two-thirds of owners (66 percent) spent up to 28 days in their vacation rental in the past twelve months, and the majority (76 percent) of owners cites personal or work reasons for not being able to spend more time in their vacation rental, not guest bookings.

Another 15 percent of owners classify their vacation rental as a future retirement home. The average age in which owners purchased their vacation homes was 48 years old-six years younger than owners in 2012-and the average age in which owners began renting their vacation homes was 50 years old-also six years less than owners in 2012.

“Consistent with what we have seen from the National Association of Realtors year after year, vacation home buyers are getting younger, realizing the benefits of purchasing their future retirement home early and paying down the mortgage by renting it,” says Sharples.

For those considering making an otherwise vacant vacation home available for rent, or purchasing a vacation home, traveler demand to fill these homes is rising in the Florida Panhandle with Fort Walton Beach, Navarre Beach and Pensacola/Pensacola Beach leading the country as a vacation destination. Compared to this same time last year, the growth of inquiries and new vacation rental listings in the Florida Panhandle is rivaled by its neighbors Captiva & Sanibel Island and North Carolina’s Outer Banks region, which shows strong performance from Duck, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, and Kill Devil Hills.

Although, it’s not just beach destinations increasing in both supply and demand. Ski spots Keystone and Durango, Colo. are peaking along with Park City, Utah. Perhaps a dark horse in these burgeoning vacation rental markets is Sunriver, Ore., boasting a 77 percent growth in vacation rental listings and complementary traveler demand growth as well.

The top 10 markets where traveler demand is on the rise, based on a year-over-year analysis (Q2 2012 vs. Q2 2013) of inquiries from travelers looking to rent a vacation home, include:

Keystone, Colo.

Sebago Lake, Maine

Outer Banks, N.C.

Sunriver, Ore.

Port Aransas, Texas

Captiva Island & Sanibel Island, Fla.

Florida Panhandle

Austin, Texas

Savannah, Ga.

Orlando, Fla.

Top Markets with Largest Increase in Traveler Demand

Sunriver, Ore.

Park City, Utah

Bryson City, N.C.

Durango, Colo.

Isle of Palms, S.C.

Florida Panhandle

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Ala.

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