Vacation rentals see demand for furnished rentals, seeks long-term renters

image source

The vacation rentals sector has seen increased demand for furnished rentals. Some are seeking long-term renters, and some are selling their properties.

According to Zillow's data, there has been increases in listings for furnished rentals and rentals of six-months or less. Analysts consider this a hint that hosts of Airbnb and other vacation rentals owners have evolved with the residential rental market as the coronavirus pandemic remains unpredictable.


The listing for furnished rentals rose by 42.8% from March 1 to May 21, according to Zillow. Total furnished listings increased by 44% compared to the same time frame in 2019.

Moreover, listings for rentals of six months or less increased by 23% between March 1 and May 21, the company report found.

These listings usually drop in March, but they saw a huge increase around the time that states had been imposing shelter-in-place orders, Zillow said.


“With travel banned, vacation home owners may be looking to avoid the uncertainty of when the economy might open and look to get a longer term renter in their home,” Zillow Economist Joshua Clark said during an interview with CNBC.

“Conversely, longer term landlords may now be open to three-six month leases to appease renters who don’t want to lock into a year-long agreement.”

According to CNBC, vacation rental hosts said that they received several booking cancellations when events started to be cancelled in March and lockdown orders began. With this, many hosts are looking for long-term rentals, while others plan to sell their properties.


Based on a May 28 report from the US Travel Association, the travel economy already suffered over $195 billion worth of losses since the start of March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, this trend among residential rentals may not be permanent.

States have begun lifting their shelter-in-place orders and reopen their economies. With this, short-term vacation rentals started increasing, according to data from AllTheRooms Analytics, which aggregates data on the vacation rental market.

Meanwhile, Airbnb occupancy over the last 30 days has regained 23.2%, but it remains down 31.6% compared to 2019, the firm said.

“There are more listings and hosts on Airbnb today than there were on January 1, and the vast majority of Airbnb hosts have only one listing,” a spokesman for Airbnb told CNBC. “Last month, we announced our industry standard-setting Enhanced Cleaning Initiative and are seeing demand and bookings.”

Home sales

In terms of home sales, data in the US saw a slight increase in April 2020. Sales of newly built houses rose by 1% in April compared with March, according to the US Census.

There is a strong demand lately, builders said. Sentiment recovered in May after a sharp decline in April, based on a monthly index from the National Association of Home Builders.

“The April data for new home sales show the potential for housing to lead any recovery for the overall economy,” said Dean Mon, chairman of the NAHB and a homebuilder and developer from Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

“Because the housing industry entered this downturn underbuilt, there exists considerable pent-up housing demand on the sidelines. The experience of the virus mitigation has emphasized the importance of home for most Americans.”