July 01, 2020

U.S. Short Term Rental Demand Climbing

Following a decade of rapid growth and profound change, the U.S. short-term rental market is now mainstream according to Phocuswright‘s latest travel research report Here To Stay: U.S. Short Term Rentals Move Mainstream. A broad range of rental options is available, from traditional beach destinations to cities and rural areas. The rise of urban rentals is old news, but the transformation of the supply landscape is ongoing. New hosts continue to enter the market and new supply types are further blurring the lines between hotels and rentals.

Share of U.S. Travelers Who Used Short-Term Rentals

The overall share of U.S. travelers who book short-term rentals rose to 34% in 2019, compared to 10% in 2011. And new travelers are still entering the market. Millennials remain key drivers of the segment (more than four in 10 rental travelers are under 35), but travelers over 55 are now the fastest-growing rental demographic. No longer considered "alternative" accommodation, short-term rentals are now a core travel product.

Key findings from the full report:

  • Short-term rental incidence (demand) among U.S. travelers climbed from 30% in 2018 to 34% in 2019.
  • The rental traveler population continues to skew younger than the U.S. traveler population overall, with more than four in 10 rental travelers under age 35. However, travelers 55 and older are the fastest-growing demographic of rental travelers.
  • Rental listing websites generated the largest share of bookings for PMs, and that share has grown since 2016.
  • The rental market continues to attract new homeowners and hosts. More than half of rental hosts started renting out their property in the past two years. Primary residence renters are more likely to be new to the market.
The crowded marketplace and slower growth of demand means competition is, and will remain, fierce. The best managers, hosts and properties will thrive, while those that do not adapt will fade away, leaving behind an ever-more streamlined, tech-powered and professionalized short-term rental market. One thing most people agree on: Travel will recover, as it always does following a downturn. There are signs of an uptick in interest in domestic travel in the U.S. for the summer 2020 travel season. But the timeline for a full recovery will remain unknown until we have a clearer picture of which COVID-19 treatment options will help stem the virus, or when an effective vaccine may be available. Some believe it will be years before we see demand return to pre-2020 levels.

Though this research was conducted prior to the COVID-19 crisis, we believe the select findings published in this report will continue to hold in the future. Phocuswright is monitoring the situation closely, and plans to update our market sizing and analysis accordingly.

Copyright 2020 Northstar Travel Media LLC. All rights reserved. From https://www.phocuswright.com. By Phocuswright Research.

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