Skift Take

Short-term rental owners in locked-down countries undoubtably suffered or went out of business in 2021. But for many owners in the U.S., it was the best of times, and their revenue soared. One wakeup call — there may not be an adequate number of listings to meet demand.

If you thought booking a short-term rental in the U.S. last month was a tad pricey, get ready for higher average daily rates in 2022.

That’s the world from short-term rental analytics firm AirDNA, which found that average daily rates for U.S. short-term rentals in December jumped 28.8 percent compared to two years earlier to $275. That was great news for property owners and hosts, who saw revenue per available listing per night jumping 51.8 percent compared with December 2019 to $148.

U.S. hosts could charge higher average daily rates in 2021 because of a paucity of listings in popular markets, remote workers having the flexibility to book in traditionally off-peak seasons, and demand recovery in certain urban areas, AirDNA said in its U.S. market review for December 2021.

In 2022, “guests are also paying a premium to reserve top properties for both spring break and summer travel,” the report said. “ADRs are up 21 percent in Q1 2022 over 2021 for properties already booked, and 7 percent higher in Q2.”

Occupancy in short-term rentals, driven by the pandemic, and remote working trends, shattered records in 2021, the company found.

Occupancy “reached an all-time high of 60.8 percent, 14.1 percent higher than last year,” the report said. “Urban areas saw the largest gains in occupancy with a 19.3 percent year-over-year jump after they fell by more than 17 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.”

Perhaps one reason for the occupancy jump and average daily rate increase is that the number of listings is still well below 2019.

In 2021, the average number of monthly available short-term rental units in the U.S. was 1.067 million units, nearly 10 percent lower than in pre-pandemic 2019.

That listing scarcity spells challenges for the major platforms, including Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking, which are vying for hosts to meet increased demand.

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Tags: airbnb, alternative accommodations, booking.com, expedia, future of lodging, hosts, listings, property management companies, rates, real estate, sonder, vacasa, vacation rentals, vrbo

Photo credit: An Airbnb duplex. Short-term rental rates will rise in 2022. Airbnb

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