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Nantucket's short-term rental occupancy tax revenue reached an all-time high this summer. Short-term rentals operating on the Massachusetts island during June, July, and August generated $4.8 million in taxes for the Nantucket Finance Department.

Nantucket’s short-term rental occupancy tax revenue reached an all-time high this summer. Short-term rentals operating on the Massachusetts island during June, July, and August generated $4.8 million in taxes for the Nantucket Finance Department, according to data obtained by the Nantucket Current.

This marked a 10% increase compared to the same period in the previous year, representing the highest quarterly collection since the implementation of the state’s short-term rental tax in 2019. In contrast, room occupancy taxes collected from traditional lodging establishments like inns and hotels declined 6.7% year over year to $2.2 million for the summer.

Taxes collected by the Town of Nantucket from Accommodations and Lodging.

Source: The Town of Nantucket Finance Department/The Nantucket Current

Officials attributed this surge in short-term rental tax revenue to increased rental rates rather than a surge in available rental properties. For the fiscal year 2023, the town’s revenue from room occupancy taxes, encompassing both traditional lodging and short-term rentals, exceeded $13.2 million, constituting over 10% of the town’s total revenue.

Penny Dey, president of the Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers, told the Nantucket Current that despite a dip in occupancies, rentals were all too expensive. While specific data for this year is not available yet, Dey said that based on both anecdotal evidence and her expertise, there has been a decrease in rentals ranging from 12% to 22% compared to the previous year.

“Pricing is one strategy,” says Dustin Abney, the CEO of Charleston-based vacation rental property management firm Portoro. “We’re instead focused on driving occupancy to get the revenue up.”

I am surprised to see those tax revenue figures after the Boston Globe reported a low-demand summer on Cape Cod. But the key seems to be the right “average daily rate mix,” as Abney called it. 

That’s where dynamic pricing determines the most feasible price at which to push low occupancy nights to guests. 

“All these metrics are intertwined and related,” he said. “What I suspect is you have to focus average daily rates on main travel days. Even though occupancy is down, there is more price sensitivity in the mid-week. So the right average daily rate mix is the key.”

Casago’s Growth Trajectory

Vacation rental property manager Casago announced that it expanded its partner operations to 51 destinations, marking a 168% increase from 19 destinations in 2021. Casago’s franchise brand now covers a wide range of local destinations, including Florida, California, South Carolina, Texas, and more, with over 7,000 privately owned homes and units under its management.

Bnbfinder Expands to Vacation Rentals

Bnbfinder, which connects travelers with bed and breakfasts, inns, and boutique hotels, is now open to professional property management companies looking to list vacation rentals. The company is also removing subscription fees for its standard tier property listings, aligning with its commitment to fee-free bookings for travelers.

The announcement follows recent integrations with leading vacation rental property management software providers like Escapia, Streamline, and Track. Furthermore, bnbfinder has implemented user interface and user experience enhancements on its website to improve the booking process, it said. The company said that for now it exclusively accepts listings from professionally managed and verified vacation rental properties, inns, and bed and breakfasts. 

Sonder Appoints Chief Accounting Officer

Sonder announced the appointment of Adam K. Bowen as chief accounting officer, effective October 9. Bowen brings a wealth of experience, boasting over 18 years in the field. His most recent role was as vice president & chief accounting officer at BlueLinx Holdings Inc.

Beyond Integrates with Airbnb

Beyond, which provides revenue management technology for vacation rental hosts, has integrated with Airbnb. This helps hosts seeking to optimize revenue from their vacation rentals.

Beyond provides an analytics platform that enables hosts to visualize market trends and track the performance of their listings seamlessly. With this integration, Airbnb hosts gain access to advanced tools and insights to enhance their vacation rental management, according to Beyond.

Amsterdam Housing Chief Postpones Decision on Home Sharing

Amsterdam’s city council has announced a postponement in the enforcement of new regulations governing home swapping. Originally slated for October 1, 2023, the implementation of these rules will now take effect on March 1, 2024.

The forthcoming regulations mandate that individuals engaging in home swaps must register with the municipality and limit such swaps with tourists to a maximum of 30 days per year, similar to rules governing short-term rentals. Starting from January 1, 2025, those failing to comply with these regulations will be subject to a fine of  €8,700 ($9000).

Habyt’s New Money

Habyt, which provides flexible housing, raised €40 million ($42 million) in a series C funding round as part of its global expansion strategy, the company said in a press release. The round is led by new investors Paris-based Korelya Capital and Munich-based Deutsche Invest. The company has a presence in North America and Asia. Habyt also inaugurated its first European hotel, The Waterfront, in Berlin, Germany, catering to short-term housing and vacation stays.

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