The Fastest Growing US Vacation Rental Locations in 2019

Property management can keep you extremely busy – sometimes it’s good to stick your head above the parapet and understand what’s going on in your market, and the markets around you. How is your city growing? Where should you be expanding next? That’s where this blog post will come in handy. Transparent are vacation rental market intelligence providers, and using our industry-leading data coverage, we’re taking a look at the largest and fastest growing vacation rental markets in the United States. We’ve even included the US market rankings for you to download!

Top 10 largest markets in the US

First up, let’s check out the 10 markets with the highest 2019 STR property count in America below. Unsurprisingly, the top two markets are Floridian. Kissimmee is comfortably leading the way with over 37k properties and, as with Davenport, has still grown significantly since 2018. In addition to Florida, we have 4 other states represented: California, New York, Georgia and Texas –  take a look at Atlanta which, despite its size, has enjoyed a hugely impressive 77% growth in vacation rentals over the last year.

Now we’ll look specifically at growth. First, we found markets with the highest 2018-19 year on year growth, which brought us to Virginia’s Chincoteague… with 7600% growth! However, with only 77 STR properties in Chincoteague this year, we thought it would be more interesting and useful to look at the bigger players; the largest 200 markets, and explore their varying levels of growth.

Top 10 growing markets over 900 properties

The largest 200 US markets that we considered here consist of at least 900 2019 unique properties. Below you can see the table that we have put together, which once again ranks 2 Floridian cities top – this time as the fastest growing markets of 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly we then see representation from New York, Arizona and South Carolina before we get back to Florida, with Texas and finally Colorado’s Keystone rounding out our top ten.

Top 5 growing markets over 900 properties – what the numbers say.

With over 900 short term rental properties, we are considering these top 200 markets in question to be attracting a significant level of demand. Let’s see what further insights into growth and guest behaviour we can uncover on our top 5 through looking at their review (found to be proportionally representative of bookings) and reservations data. November and December 2019 are carried through on trend as reviews for these months are likely to be incomplete.

Tampa, Florida – 1632% YoY growth.

Situated along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa is a major business centre home to 385,430 people (1 VR property:162 residents), also known for its amusement attractions and culture.

The review data in the first chart demonstrates the seasonality seen in Tampa, with March being the peak month. Between 2018 and 2019, monthly reviews have increased by 54% on average, with April claiming the most significant growth (68%). 

89.8% of Tampa reviews were left by American guests – the map above shows the breakdown of the remaining guests by country of origin. 34% of these were Canadian, leaving Germany in second spot (17%).

As with the median number of guests, average nights stayed in Tampa through 2018 and 2019 was 2, likely reflecting its status as a business hub. Over that time, average booking window halved from 8 nights to 4.  Average daily rate (ADR) in 2019 was $150, with Friday averaging highest at $178 and Sunday bottom of the pile ($150).

Hollywood, Florida – 1311% YoY growth

Florida’s east coast is home to another Hollywood. Hollywood meanwhile is home to 153,627, and now 2992 short term rentals too; that’s 1 for every 52 people.

March is Hollywood’s most popular month amongst our reviewing guests, with September least reviewed. April however showed the biggest gain YoY with 55% increase in reviews next to an average monthly increase of 41%.

In our map meanwhile, we can see that Canada once again had the lion’s share (31%) of those reviews excepting US guests (74.1% of total). Argentinians were next most prevalent, representing 19% of guest reviews.

Median number of guests in Hollywood was also 2, but the average length of stay was longer at 3 nights. Booking window was also much longer, in line with more leisure-orientated resorts, at 20 nights over 2018/19. Saturday is the most expensive night in Hollywood, while Tuesday took lowest average in 2018 and Wednesday was cheapest this year.

East Hampton, New York – 1254% YoY growth

Officially the easternmost town in the state of New York, East Hampton sits at the eastern end of Long Island’s south shore with 22,000+ residents which, with 1679 short-term rental properties, means a crazy 1 for every 13 people!

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East Hampton reviews have only increased 14% on average, with January showing the greatest increase of 25%. The peak month is August, and while July was only just pushed to second in 2018, it showed the least gain in 2019.

A hugely dominant 91% of East Hampton reviews came from American guests, with 33% of international reviews coming from visitors from the UK and Germans next most common. Canada, France and Australia made up the top 5 nations outside the US.

Flagstaff, Arizona – 1233% YoY growth

Situated in Arizona with 139,097 residents and bordered by mountains, desert and forest, Flagstaff’s 1400 STR properties makes 1 to every 99 people.

Canadian were again the most common international reviewers at 24% of non-US reviews. Germany came in with 16%, the UK 15% and France 14%, but 88% of reviews came from American guests. 

Flagstaff has averaged a 27% increase in reviews each month, year on year. The peak month in 2018 was July, but in 2019 the peak shifted to May. January again showed the biggest gain with 65% increase in reviews between 2018-19, while August showed the least gain at only 12%.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – 1184% YoY growth

With 12 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront, Hilton Head is a Lowcountry resort town and barrier island housing 207,413 people – just 28 to every vacation rental. It is situated in South Carolina, the 7th most VR supplied state in the US.

July is Hilton Head’s peak month, while April showed the biggest gain YoY with a 62% increase in reviews between 2018-19. The August to October period however showed much less improvement, averaging at 35% growth in reviews. As a whole, the average monthly review increase was 41%.

A massive 96% of Hilton Head reviews came from American guests, with 66% of the remaining guests being Canadian. Outside of northern America, a further 13% of international reviews were British, with Germany, France and Italy next most common.

Biggest supply states: up and coming cities

Lastly, we wanted to explore things from a practical expansion perspective. Which city in your state is enjoying the fastest growth? Now could be a good time to get involved…

Above, we’ve ranked the top 10 US supply states. Completely predictably, following the previous statistics that we have shared, Florida storms away with the number one spot of largest vacation rental supply state of 2019.

We’ve then added the fastest growing market in each state. Our top 3 biggest growing markets align with those we’ve spoken about above, but a new name – Kailua in Hawaii – scoops the prize for 4th fastest growing market in the 10 biggest US supply states.

These fastest growing markets in our top 10 states include what we have classified as 4 beach markets, 3 urban and 3 mountain/rural, which include 2 ski resort towns.
The fastest growing top 4 previously mentioned however, are the 4 beach markets and have experienced significantly more growth than the remaining 6 markets.

If you would like to check out where your market ranks, or look at expansion prospects, download our US market rankings to see supply numbers and YoY growth.

To learn about increasing your vacation rental revenue with Transparent’s industry leading market intelligence, click below to book a demo call.