Vacation Rental Market Search Demand: Summer 2020 Data Study

COVID 19 Impact On Vacation Rental Search Demand

As the pandemic has unfolded over the last six months, search volume on Google has been an indicator of how quickly demand can raise and fall. At BuildUp Bookings we’ve been monitoring our clients search trends and matching this up with booking trends.

The data is quite similar. When search volume rises, booking interest rises quickly thereafter — if search demand starts to fall, so do the bookings.

To help quantify the impact from these search trends, we sought out to study some of the top 100 search terms in the industry encompassing both state level and city level search demand for vacation rentals. The data from our controlling search blog post helped form the initial list for the markets we researched in this study.

Markets With Growing Search Demand

Markets With Exploding Search Demand1 1
California showed massive growth.

One major trend we saw in June 2020 was a growth in the California markets. Markets like Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Sea Ranch and Mammoth all saw massive growth compared to May 2020. As California eased lockdowns and more in-state travel occurred, those markets benefited the most.

The increase in search demand wasn’t just in Cali however. Markets on the east coast like Ocean City, Maryland and Cape Cod all saw lifts too — getting to the beach safely being a primary reason for travel.

Other markets with gains in search volume: Virginia Beach, Asheville, Bend and regions like the Oregon Coast. 

Overall search demand seemed to fall slightly in areas like Myrtle Beach and Orlando as they’ve struggled to contain the virus. 

Markets With Slowing Search Demand

Sadly not all vacation rental and short-term rental markets saw an increase in search demand and bookings. June was a down month for several Covid-19 hotspots and areas and cities.

Large urban centers saw the worst loss in search demand. Miami, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, LA and Austin all suffered between at 18% to 45% loss in search traffic comparing June to May of 2020.

There may still be bookings to be had in those markets: but the overall demand is down moderately, leading any short term rental or vacation rental managers in those markets to scramble to find guests.

Search Trends Show Booking Demand

Search shows booking intent: that much is clear. As the the Coronavirus has impacted travel, that has reflected in the search trends for many of these areas. We’ll keep updating this article as we uncover new insights throughout 2020. 

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