The short-term rental market hit a new milestone last month, with March 2021 showing the highest occupancy on record.
According to AirDNA, occupancy in the United States rose to 60.9% for the month as spring break crowds swarmed coastal destinations, namely in Florida.
Meanwhile, occupancy in March of 2020 was just 47.2%, down from 58.2% in 2019. Even when compared to prior years, March 2021 occupancy levels were 4.6% higher than the previous record in 2019.
AirDNA says occupancy gains were broadly a result of a recovering demand and a reduction in the available supply of short-term rentals. The March 2021 demand level was 97% of March 2019 demand, which is the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic.
The recovery in demand has varied by location, with demand in hard-hit urban areas reaching just 55% of the 2019 level. Rural locations and small cities, however, are at 165% of 2019 demand. Destination/resort locations are also trending ahead of previous years.
With many short-term rental operators temporarily or permanently removing their properties because of low demand, available supply is down about 7% relative to 2019. This trend is most visible in major cities where the number of available listings has fallen by more than 30%.
According to AirDNA, urban locations have lost 39% of their available supply. That – coupled with demand trends – has resulted in an 11% overall drop in occupancy. If supply had remained consistent, the resulting drop in occupancy would have reached -45%.
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