2021 Vacation Rental Statistics

vacation rental stats

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and the vacation rental business is one of the most important sectors driving the growth. The mainstream vacation rental market has opened up a whole new way of traveling that appeals to multiple generations and people from all walks of life. 

The diversity of the target audience is matched by the broad spectrum of those operating vacation rentals. Everyone has the ability to become part statistic of the vacation rental industry and there is no shortage of individuals, local and regional property management companies, and even multi-million dollar businesses taking advantage of this 21st century spin on lodging. With single room rentals, stately manors, and everything in between there is literally a seat for every bottom. 

The vacation rental industry is changing as quickly as it is growing and keeping up with the latest trends can be a daunting task. The days of guests being satisfied with the amenities of the traditional motor lodge, motel, or hotel are long gone. A more personalized service is required to maintain high occupancy rates, and the wants and needs of guests seem to change by the minute. 

Having an understanding of modern trends will help you stay at the forefront of your industry and maintain a high success rate. With trends in a constant state of fluctuation there is an infinite pool of data available at all times to provide additional insight to fuel your business strategy. 

The COVID-19 impact has been large for many short-term vacation rental companies – view the latest research regarding the Coronavirus and the industry impact from VRMA, Rent Responsibly and AirDNA here (view full report). 

—The vacation rental industry is growing fast. Very fast! As new research data comes in, it’s often hard to keep pace with all of the updates and information that is shared. Keep up to date with all of the latest vacation rental marketing and management statistics. 

The vacation rental industry is extremely lucrative and has been growing at a rapid rate in the last few years, thanks to new integrated apps and software. More and more people are taking advantage of vacation rentals and their variety of benefits. —–

Industry Growth And Sustainability

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Rates And Pricing

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Marketing, Reviews, And Distribution

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Hosting And Services

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General Travel Trends

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Industry Growth And Sustainability

There are 9 million second homes in the U.S. 44% of these are professionally managed, and 25%-35% of them are rented out. (Hostfully)

The total number of vacation rental companies in the U.S. is currently at 23,000, which makes up 20% of all the vacation rental companies in the world. (Hostfully)

45% of investment property buyers purchased to generate income through renting the property (as opposed to flipping or only seeking price appreciation). (VRM Intel

49% of vacation home buyers plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat. (VRM Intel)

In the vacation rentals segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 57.0M by 2023. (statista.com)

User penetration is 9.7% in 2019 and is expected to hit 11.4% by 2023. (statista.com

The average revenue per user (ARPU) currently amounts to US $438.49. (statista.com

Vacation rental income comprises about 24% of the average owner’s income. (VRMA

Most vacation rental revenue is generated in the United States ($13,053M in 2018). (statista.com

Revenue in the vacation rentals segment amounts to $17,507M in 2019. (statista.com)

Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2023) of 7.2%, resulting in a market volume of $18,517M by 2023. (statista.com

29% of vacation properties are owned by more than one person. (Vrbo

42% of investors and 39% of vacation buyers paid all cash for their property purchase. (VRM Intel

The average rental income varies greatly by size of home, proximity to the beach, and quality of amenities. 1-bedroom vacation rentals in the 50th percentile earn about $38,490 per year, while a 3-bedroom brings in $98,688. (Evolve Vacation Rental Network

34% of investors purchased vacation home properties in a suburb or subdivision, 24% in a small town and 19% in an urban area or central city. 33% of buyers purchased in a beach area, 21% purchased on a lake front, and 15% purchased a vacation home in the country. (VRM Intel

63% of investors and 52% of vacation buyers bought a detached single-family home. (VRM Intel

The median square feet of an investment property is 1,500. (VRM Intel

According to a Hawaii Tourism Authority report, 15% of visitors would not have gone to Hawaii if there hadn’t been the option to stay in alternative accommodations, such as vacation rentals. (Evolve Vacation Rental Network

Research showed that the percentage of longer stays (over 7 days) has doubled since 2019. (avantio.com)

85% of vacation rental companies and hoteliers surveyed said that automation was a priority. (avantio.com)

Currently 82% of vacation rental property managers plan to implement keyless technology. (avantio.com)

Operto found that 34% of property managers were planning to invest 11-25% more than currently on tech. (avantio.com)

Rates And Pricing

Average nightly rates in popular vacation destinations range from $186 per night to $978 per night (for a family-sized rental). (Hostfully)

Wyoming is home to the most expensive vacation rentals around the 4th of July. (Hostfully

A recent poll by Vrbo Software revealed that more than half of property managers (57%) adjust their rates once per quarter or less frequently each year. (Vrbo

52% of property managers have diversified their revenue channels over the past year, and 91% are interested in listing on another OTA. (avantio.com

90% of European property managers said they’d made their cancellation policies more flexible. 52% were even planning to offer free cancellation in 2021. (avantio.com)

According to a survey, 90% of property managers had noticed an increase in last-minute bookings. Airbnb stated that the percentage of last-minute bookings had doubled. (avantio.com)

According to data from VRM Intel, direct bookings accounted for over 50% of bookings in 2020.  (avantio.com)

The pandemic disrupted normal seasonality trends, and surprisingly, average rates actually grew slightly in 2020 by 4%-6%.  (avantio.com)

Marketing, Reviews, And Distribution

Just 43% of homeowners use professional photography. (Evolve Vacation Rental Network

31.6% of property owners said they spent four or more hours creating their vacation rental listing. (Evolve Vacation Rental Network

Travelers will spend about 59 seconds navigating your website and clicking through your pictures. (Bookfull)

In the Vacation Rentals segment, 77% of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2023. (statista.com)

69% of tourists find information about vacations from brochures at a display stand and 68% find it online. (VRMA

Average number of OTAs used by vacation rental companies with 51-250 vacation rental properties: 2.6. (Rentivo)

Vacation rental managers may spend 5%-15% of revenue on commissions to vacation rental platforms. (iGMS)

67% of travelers think it’s easier to book on a brand website rather than a third-party website. (VRMA)

On average, more than 2 million renters stay in an Airbnb each night. (Airbnb)

Vacation rental managers that use instant booking on Airbnb increase their bookings by an average of 20%. (Guesty)

Hosting And Services

77.9% of homeowners admit that the only way they welcome guests to their property is with an email. (Evolve Vacation Rental Network

57% of hosts say they provide a welcome basket or gift for their guests upon arrival. (the distinguished guest

84% of Vacation Rental Companies include a printed guidebook within the property (Hostfully).

Over 2/3 hosts provide a brand new sponge and dish soap for incoming guests. (the distinguished guest

44% of hosts leave one roll of paper towels per guest, and 52% provide two or more. (the distinguished guest)

Two thirds of hosts leave a minimum of 3 toilet rolls in each bathroom. (the distinguished guest

63% of hosts provide two towel sets per guest. While 32.5% provide one or one and a half. (the distinguished guest

68% of hosts use white bath towels at their vacation rental. (the distinguished guest)  

For King, Queen and Full beds, 69% of hosts provide four pillows. (the distinguished guest

Over 75% of hosts use polyester-filled pillows, the remainder use feather and other materials. (the distinguished guest

More than ¾ hosts use white bed sheets at their property. (the distinguished guest

On average, almost half get their windows washed (inside and out) at least twice per year. (the distinguished guest)

41% of hosts get carpets professionally cleaned a minimum of twice per year, while 58% do this annually. (the distinguished guest

42% of hosts will deep clean their BBQ grill twice per year, but just over ¼ only do this once. (the distinguished guest

82% of hosts have a 5-star rating on listing sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. (the distinguished guest

38% of property managers surveyed said they have got more bookings from family and large groups. (avantio.com)

Larger homes suitable for families performed better in the vacation rental market. (avantio.com)

In Europe, 9 out of 10 guests preferred rural vacation homes. (avantio.com)

57% of property managers said they noticed more bookings from guests intending to work during their stay. (avantio.com)

63% of homeowners reply to travelers within 60 minutes of receiving their inquiry. (Evolve Vacation Rental Network)

General Travel Trends

The average millennial spends $2,915 on travel each year, and they try to get away at least four times a year. (Bookfull). 

Overseas visitations account for half of all international visitations to the United States, with the other half originating from Canada and Mexico. (U.S. Travel Association). 

HomeAway reported a 55% growth in barn bookings, a 40% increase in houseboat reservations and a 30% boost in treehouse bookings compared with the previous year. (Lodgify)

The beach is best for most travelers, with 74% of respondents preferring to spend their vacations on the coast (VRMA

The top amenity cited by 64% vacation rental travelers for booking a vacation rental is the kitchen (Bookfull).

31% of travelers said spending quality time with family was their main motivation for travel. (avantio.com)

42% of travelers planned to travel as a family group. (avantio.com)

Studies in the US showed that 61% of families were more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one. (avantio.com)

The popularity of countryside cabins increased by 25% and people sought to be near lakes and rivers (avantio.com)

59% of US travelers said they were more likely to drive than fly to their next destination. (avantio.com

A survey of guests who had booked flexcations found that:

  • 33% of guests have been able to book vacation rentals and work due to remote working polices. 
  • 38% had booked flexcations to offer their children a new experience and break the monotony of staying at home.
  • 67% said they would be likely to do it again. (avantio.com)