The Hamptons’ rental market had a booming season, yet the number of online bookings failed to surpass last year’s, a new report found.
Homes did not sit empty. Rather, many owners pulled their homes off the rental market, sending prices skyrocketing for the ones that were available, according to an analysis by StayMarquis of Airbnb and VRBO rentals. And guests stayed longer than usual.
The 26,953 online bookings in March through September represented a 37 percent drop from last year’s 42,513. But money generated by bookings only fell 16 percent, to $164 million from $196 million. Revenue per booking jumped 32 percent to $6,100 from about $4,600.
The number of Airbnb and VRBO properties dropped 23 percent, from 5,418 to 4,173, largely because Covid motivated some owners to live in homes they would normally rent out. Although other years have seen a similar low number of properties on the online market — 2017 had just 4,101 — the spike in demand triggered by the pandemic sent other metrics flying.
While in 2017 per-property revenue was just under $28,000, this year it was $39,000. Last year it was about $36,000. Nightly rates rose more modestly, by 4 percent, to $971, probably because discounts for longer stays offset the price spike caused by higher demand.
“A lot of owners who made their properties available for rent were likely very successful this year,” said Bryan Fedner, co-founder of Hamptons-focused rental business StayMarquis.
The report is based on data provided to StayMarquis by Airdna.
The demand also generated a tailwind for sellers, the report said, as renters increasingly became buyers.
For those who managed to secure a booking, some 1,882 stayed for longer for two weeks. That’s higher than any other year; last year only 1,252 long stays.
The Hamptons rental season, which itself has become longer, spiked in May, with bookings surging to 3,108 from 1,380 in April. The number hit 5,136 in June.
Demand initially surged in March and April, according to numbers not in the report but provided to TRD by StayMarquis. The number of nights booked in March and April was 16,667 compared to 9,281 during the same time in 2019, an increase of 80 percent. Booking value for that time period was $9.8 million compared to $5.4 million in 2019, up 82 percent.
The nightly rate peaked in August at $1,126. July and September’s rates were only slightly below at $1,093 and $922, respectively.
The report predicted demand would continue to be higher than usual as the Hamptons enters fall and winter. While some bookings roll over, Fedner said Covid-19 rates may also play a role.
The demand for properties is linked to the number of infections in New York City, he said.
“Since we started to see the spike in Covid cases reported in Manhattan and the surrounding areas, we actually started to receive another uptick of booking activity for our properties in the Hamptons, and most of them were for month-long periods or even longer,” Fedner said. “This was really within the last two weeks.”