It seems like just yesterday that college kids, parents of young children, and retirees were canceling their Spring Break plans en masse, leaving short-term rental owners and third-party platforms like Airbnb and VRBO scrambling. Never before in the history of short-term rentals had a single event caused so much chaos to this emerging market.

One year later, the global pandemic still has a grip on most of the economies of cities and towns across the United States and the world, but with the rollout of multiple vaccines continuing apace, our collective recovery has begun in earnest.

To really gauge the impact that the early stages of the recovery and, quite frankly, COVID-fatigue have had on the travel and tourism industry this Spring, we decided to examine our first-of-its-kind short-term rental dynamic pricing data.

We Are (Almost) Back

By reviewing the evolving pricing for short-term rental units across 37 US states and comparing it to data from the same period last year, we discovered that Americans are, without a doubt, embracing Spring Break travel again this year.

In fact, the average rental price for short-term rentals across the US is up 11.4 percent from March 2020.

Overall, we found that:

  • In popular Spring Break destinations such as Florida, Arizona, and California, the average short-term rental listing is up 17 percent from March 2020
  • Average listing prices have increased in 30 states
  • Just 7 states have seen a decrease in average listing price
  • The state of Washington saw the largest increase at 40 percent, while Louisiana saw the largest decrease at -36 percent
  • The average March rental price in the US is $242.89, an increase of 11.4 percent from 2020
  • There are 34 percent more rental units listed on the market now, versus one year ago

In spite of pleas and guidance from public health officials at the state and federal level to slow down our return to normal, trends in short-term rental pricing are sending a clear message that most Americans aren’t willing to forego their Spring travel plans for a second consecutive year.

With more travel destinations easing local restrictions, and an influx of Americans no longer willing to self-isolate, it is likely that the demand--and price--for short-term rentals will continue to rise through Summer and Fall of 2021.

State-by-State Average

From a destinations market perspective, the following data reflects the markets with the highest and lowest rental prices.

As we've previously noted in our 2021 Q1 Short-term Rental Trends Report and subsequent analysis, this year will be a boon for the short-term rental market.

Have you taken the time to review your 2021 forecast? If not, come check out what our Projections tool can do for you.