Popular summer vacation destinations across US see uptick in vacancies

Rental properties across the country have seen fewer bookings this summer compared to past years.

Experts said many people bought second homes during the pandemic and turned them into rentals, causing an uptick in properties available to rent, but a decline in demand.

"We've seen more and more properties come on the market. So there's a little bit of an inventory issue of probably outpacing what we are seeing with the little bit lower demand now," said Ryan Castle, CEO of Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors.

Jessica Halem and her spouse lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for two years, and began renting out their home when they moved away for a job opportunity.

Halem said the only way to get her rental booked was to lower the price. 

"We really didn't see any rentals until spring break, which for people who know Cape Cod, is very late for Cape Cod rentals. So we were definitely nervous about all the love and work we had put into this house," she said.

Summer occupancy in the beach town was down nearly 20% toward the end of June, according to Castle.

"It's a little bit less now because people book last minute," he said.

Other destinations across the country are also seeing fewer bookings, according to AirDNA.

The company, which tracks the performance of vacation rentals, revealed occupancy rates are down 14% in Orlando, Florida, 12% on the Jersey Shore, and 8% in San Diego, California.

Halem added that she believes people also aren’t willing to pay what they used to for a vacation.

"In August, you're going to pay for a place like ours around $500 a night. There are rentals that go for a lot more than that per night," she said.

After many people couldn't travel overseas during the pandemic, Castle believes the demand is lower because more people are traveling outside the United States. 

"Now the people are fine getting on planes. They're fine traveling overseas," he said.

Castle also said rental owners struggling to get people to book should consider upgrading the home.