Labor Day weekend marks the end of a busy summer season for most of the vacation rental markets in the United States. We took a sneak peek at how some popular destinations perform. Forward-looking data is vital for projecting how you will perform against previous years. It is important to note that this pacing data is not an estimate, it is actually on-the-books data from our direct data partners and will change as reservations for Labor Day weekend continue to be made.
The majority of coastal markets are expected to perform exceptionally well compared to 2019 occupancy rates. The Outer Banks, NC (+14%); Charleston, SC (+12%); and Los Angeles, CA (+7%) are all seeing increases over 2019. Additionally, some mountain markets like Glacier Country, MT; and The Ozarks are currently booked 39% and 13% more than they were on August 11th, 2019. These markets may be able to increase their rates slightly for any last-minute bookings. Some markets like 30A, FL; the Oregon Coast; San Diego, CA; and Jackson Hole, WY are booking comparably to how they were in 2019. Seattle, WA; Galveston, TX; and Atlanta, GA are booked 27%, 17% and 14% less than they were at this point in 2019. All three of these markets had booking windows longer than 30 days in 2019, so it is unlikely these decreases will be reversed. Though Atlanta may not meet or exceed 2019 occupancy, it is important to note that along with Washington, D.C.; and Glacier Country, MT; these were the only three markets of the sample that actually increased occupancy over 2021.
Nightly rates are on track to be higher than in 2019 in all markets except Seattle. This pattern also applies to the United States as a whole; rates on the books for U.S. rentals are $93 higher than they were in 2019. Drive-to and traditionally less-expensive markets have the lowest increases over 2019 - like Breckenridge, CO (+$45); Ocean City, MD (+$59) and Asheville, NC (+$68). Markets like Washington, D.C. (+$54); San Francisco, CA (+$107); OBX, NC (+$102); and Charleston, SC (+$90) could all consider raising their rates for any last-minute Labor Day weekend bookings since occupancy rates are significantly higher than 2019. Property managers in Seattle might have lowered rates hoping to attract additional guests, but they may want to consider increasing their rates to help balance out lower occupancy.
RevPAR, or revenue per available rental, is calculated as the occupancy rate multiplied by average daily rate. RevPAR is a better indicator of performance than occupancy alone because the goal is to maximize revenue. For example, the occupancy rate in Telluride and Mountain Village, CO, is pacing 7% lower for this Labor Day weekend over 2019. However, their rates increased substantially (+$378), and that increase was enough to increase revpar by $139. However, property managers should be cautious in raising rates any higher, as it may price potential renters out of the market. In markets like Jackson Hole, WY; 30A, FL; and the Oregon Coast, where occupancy is pacing close to 2019, increases in nightly rates were enough to increase RevPAR (+$77, +$78, and +$69, respectively). This suggests that these markets have optimized their rates. In Seattle, WA, the decrease in occupancy paired with the slight decrease in nightly rates leaves an on the books RevPAR deficit of $57.
It is important to keep in mind that pacing data, while incredibly helpful, will change as time goes on. Property Managers that keep an eye on their pacing data are able to react quicker to trends in occupancy by adjusting rates. That is why it is imperative that property managers understand how to use the data and continue to monitor their core KPIs throughout a season. Reach out to [email protected] to see how Key Data can help you view your forward-looking data.