With summer now in full swing, we took a look at how a popular summer market - South Florida's Atlantic Coast region - is performing.
- Compared to 2019, more last-minute bookings are being made currently for many South Florida markets. Alongside this trend, 2021 occupancy continues to recover with 2021 monthly occupancy finishing in line or ahead of 2019.
- Summer months are continuing to book up faster than the same period in 2019 through the end of July.
- Property owners and managers who are not seeing strong pickup for late summer need not worry, as booking pace for this period was also not very strong at this point in 2019.
In the Miami and South Florida Atlantic Coast markets, for example, the charts above display all bookings that have been made over the past 21 days by their check-in week. Additionally, the same values for 2019 are included to provide pacing context for each market. Miami market data covers Miami as well as Fort Lauderdale, and the South Florida Atlantic Coast market covers Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Vero Beach, and Palm Bay.
In the short term, we can see that both markets are seeing more bookings being made in the short term compared to this same time back in 2019. Average booking lead time shrank during 2020 but has slowly started to increase back to normal over the past few months. Guests are still looking to book last minute, but most travelers to Florida know that planning their Summer vacations should happen as soon as possible given the increase in US domestic tourism.
Second-Half of Summer Looks Good
Looking towards the later summer months, we can see that both markets are at or slightly above 2019 booking pace week to week. Demand has been high for many Florida markets since last summer when pent-up demand took the state by storm during the pandemic. In the South Florida Atlantic Coast markets, we can even see that some weeks in August are picking up stronger than they were back in 2019.
One thing to note is that both large markets are not seeing strong pickup for late Summer starting in August, which is normal for this time of year compared to a normal year like 2019. Property managers should continue keeping rates high alongside increased demand in the market over the next few weeks.
In terms of overall occupancy, both of these markets have seen occupancy recover this year compared to 2019. Monthly occupancy levels have mostly finished higher than 2019 months since the start of the year. Summer demand continues to look strong alongside increased prices over the next few months.
This is a great sign of market demand recovery and property managers should expect demand levels to rise through the summer. Property managers should still stay agile with their pricing strategy and be ready to adapt to changing market conditions throughout the rest of 2021. Last year, extended summer demand helped drive rates through the end of the summer and into early Fall, but this may change this year with fewer lockdowns, stay-at-home restrictions and in-person schooling.
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