Study Shows Significant Growth in Private Rentals

A strong increase in urban property rentals highlights changing consumer demographics By: Kenneth Shapiro
The vacation rental market has seen a major boom in recent years. // © 2017 iStock
The vacation rental market has seen a major boom in recent years. // © 2017 iStock

The Details

A recent study from travel industry research firm Phocuswright shows that the percentage of U.S. travelers who use private accommodation rentals has grown from about one in 10 in 2010 to one in three today. In addition, the destination mix of rental stays has changed dramatically over the past few years; city destinations now account for 34 percent of stays, compared to just 13 percent in 2012.

Why It Matters:
Travel agents need to be aware of changing consumer preferences. While home rentals are still a common choice for beach and mountain vacations, the growth of shorter stays in urban destinations suggests that more clients would appreciate a travel agent who offers rental options in addition to hotel suggestions in large cities. The study also reports that 70 percent of rental travelers are under the age of 44, which means agents will be working with private rentals for a long time to come.

Fast Facts:
- The report, “A Market Transformed: Private Accommodation in the U.S.” was released in January.

- The study suggested there are two types of rental property consumers. Traditional renters are older, generally book properties in beach/mountain areas, book for longer trips and spend more. “New Gen” renters are younger, prefer urban destinations, book shorter term rentals and spend less per trip.

- The top reasons consumers give for booking hotels instead of property rentals are “convenient location” (44%), “easier to research and book a hotel” (33%) and “prefer hotel property amenities” (27%).

- For domestic trips, while Florida maintains its top spot, California and NewYork have grown in popularity among rental travelers due to the growth of urban rentals in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

- Phocuswright and TravelAge West are owned by the same parent company.

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