Short-Term Rental Seasonality: See the Most and Least Seasonal Markets

Mark Saldana | May 8, 2019

What Is Seasonality?

Short-term rental seasonality is the cyclical variance in traveler demand throughout the year that’s unique to each vacation rental market. For example, ski towns experience high demand every winter and relatively low demand every summer.

How AirDNA Measures Short-Term Rental Seasonality

At AirDNA, we track 10 million properties (on both Airbnb and HomeAway/Vrbo) across 80,000 regions to get a clear picture of what’s happening in the short-term rental market. As part of our analysis, we assign each market with a Market Grade, which includes a Seasonality Score.

To determine a market’s rental seasonality, we look at the difference in travel demand between peak and low season. This score is the percentage difference between the minimum and maximum monthly RevPAR in the past year. A market with little to no fluctuation in demand throughout the year will have a high seasonality score.

For real estate investors or and vacation rental managers who want to generate consistent revenue with minimal risk, markets with low seasonality are generally seen as more desirable. While seasonal markets can be highly lucrative, they’re subject to conditions that are outside of your control (unexpected shifts in traveler demand, changes in weather, etc.) that can lead to dramatic shifts in rental revenue.

Seasonality in the United States

Below, is a list of the most and least seasonal Airbnb markets in the U.S. Average RevPAR was calculated from an average of the last 12 months.

For an analysis of the top markets in the U.S. based on Market Grade (which includes rental seasonality as a factor), see our post on the 100 Best Places to Buy Vacation Rental Property in the United States.

The Least Seasonal Markets

City State Seasonality Score Average RevPAR Best Month
Houston Texas 99.84 $82.32 March
Princeville Hawaii 99.77 $215.62 July
Sacramento California 99.75 $100.63 July
Jacksonville Florida 99.69 $78.32 March
Kapaa Hawaii 99.63 $183.55 March

The Most Seasonal Markets

City State Seasonality Score Average RevPAR Best Month
East Hampton New York 4.26 $329.63 August
Wildwood New Jersey 9.80 $124.63 July
Ocean City Maryland 10.23 $156.31 August
Virginia Beach Virginia 10.78 $269.35 August
Angel Fire New Mexico 13.81 $139.01 March

Seasonality Compared to Average RevPAR

Seasonality in Europe

Below is a list of the most and least seasonal Airbnb markets in Europe. Average RevPAR was calculated from an average of the last 12 months. Since not all of the markets on this list use the Euro, we converted The Bulgarian Lev and the Danish Krone based on current exchange rates.

For an analysis of the top markets in Europe based on Market Grade (which includes rental seasonality as a factor), read our post on the 15 Best Places to Buy Vacation Rental Property in Europe.

The Least Seasonal Markets

City Country Seasonality Score Average RevPAR Best Month
Grenoble France 100.00 35.89 October
Nantes France 99.98 46.05 October
Saint-Étienne France 99.86 26.74 October
Essen Germany 99.81 33.01 October
Rouen France 99.71 38.93 August

The Most Seasonal Markets

City Country Seasonality Score Average RevPAR Best Month
Graz Austria 1.00 33.85 July
Landkreis Germany 1.30 100.32 July
Santu Diadòru Italy 2.16 96.47 August
Varde Denmark 2.55 14.91* September
Sunny Beach Bulgaria 2.74 25.02** August

*Converted to Euro from 111.34 Krone
** Converted to Euro from 48.93 Lev

Seasonality Compared to Average RevPAR

Does Low Seasonality Mean a Market is Better?

No. Comparing these market in the U.S and Europe side by side shows that seasonal markets can see a high average monthly RevPAR despite the low season. Many highly seasonal markets are traditional resort areas where travelers book larger homes at higher prices.

Managing a vacation rental property in a highly seasonal market can be lucrative. However, to realize the full potential of your property, you’ll need to understand how to correctly price your property during both the low and high season. You also need to prepare for market conditions outside of your control. For example, if you own a luxury home in a mountain town, a bad ski season is likely to have a big effect on bookings for weeks or even months at a time.

If you want consistent vacation rental income throughout the year (even if it means lower average RevPAR), a market with low seasonality is a good bet. In a non-seasonal market, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to prepare for periods where revenue takes a huge hit. However, you also won’t experience stretches of increased demand where you’re able to charge much higher prices for your property.

Determining a Pricing Strategy for Your Market

Seasonality is a predictable, regular cycle that every market experiences over the course of 12 months. However, there’s another, less predictable factor that affects prices in your market: real-time travel demand. In MarketMinder, we provide you with information about both seasonality and real-time travel demand so that you can come up with an informed, data-driven pricing strategy for your properties.

In the MarketMinder seasonality tab, you can see seasonality trends based on historical data from the last 12 months. At a glance, you can see cyclical shifts in demand, expected RevPAR, and the top-performing month for your market. You can use this information to identify periods up to 12 months in the future where you should raise or lower your prices.

Rental Seasonality Pricing in AirDNA

In MarketMinder’s pricing tab, we created a Demand Score to help you price your properties based on real-time travel demand. This information is updated daily and is based on both booked and available short-term rental prices in your market. The Demand Score and Future Supply and Demand Calendar can help you complete the pricing equation by pointing out non-seasonal shifts your market’s supply and demand up to 6 months in the future.

Rental seasonality - real-time demand chart

MarketMinder is the only tool available today that combines historic short-term rental seasonality with real-time pricing demand, helping vacation rental managers and hosts beat the competition and maximize revenue.

Subscribe to MarketMinder to See Seasonality in Your Market

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