Second Home Ownership and Interest in Vacation Rentals Continue to Remain Strong
Through Economic Recession, According to New HomeAway Report



  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of second home owners are able to cover at least half of their mortgage by renting out their vacation home to travelers
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  • The average second home owner who rents their home to travelers is generating more than $35,000 in rental income
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  • Approximately two-thirds of second home owners report their vacation rental bookings are about the same as or higher than last summer


AUSTIN, TX, May 20, 2010 — Second home owners who rent their homes to travelers, on average, generate more than $35,000 in rental income each year, according to HomeAway, Inc. – the world's leading online vacation rental marketplace – which today released its quarterly "HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report."

On average, second home owners are renting their properties to travelers 20 weeks a year, and the rental income generated is helping many owners offset mortgage and upkeep costs. In fact, the HomeAway report found 38 percent of owners generate enough rental income to cover 75 to 100 percent of their mortgage. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of owners earn enough to cover at least 50 percent of their mortgage.
 
"Owning a vacation property is not just for older Americans or the affluent.  Many owners are discovering they can offset the costs of the home by renting to travelers when they're not using it themselves and they're having good success lining up renters by marketing their homes online," says Tom Kelly, Real Estate expert and author of How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment.  "The rental income they earn can go toward paying the mortgage, home insurance, utilities and general maintenance."

According to the HomeAway report, several markets around the country have seen significant increases in new vacation rental listings. For the fourth consecutive quarter New Orleans and Austin, Texas appear in the top 10 destinations with the largest increase in new listings.  Sunset Beach, N.C. retains its top position from the last quarter, and Telluride, Colo. drops a spot from second to third.

And despite the sluggish economy, second home owners in these markets and throughout the country find that travelers are continuing to book stays, due in part to the value afforded by a vacation home compared with a traditional hotel.  Approximately 62 percent of second home owners report their bookings for this summer are about the same or higher than last summer.


Now's the Time to Buy Vacation Real Estate

Given the success second home owners have renting their homes to travelers, some are considering buying additional properties.  Of the owners who cover 50 percent or more of their second home's mortgage with rental income, 38 percent of them say they had considered buying an additional vacation home within the past year.

There's never been a better time in the past seven years to 'buy low' with the prospect of eventually 'selling high,'" says Kelly.  "Prices are sdown in just about every location, and mortgage interest rates are hovering at some of the lowest levels in history.  HomeAwayRealEstate.com has developed helpful tools for prospective buyers to help gauge the potential rental income they can generate while investigating attractive homes for sale. 


Coastal Areas, Mountain and City Destinations Lure Travelers Looking for Vacation Rentals


Whether looking to buy a vacation home or just rent one for a personal vacation, finding the right destination is important.  Miami and New York, again, rank in the top five most popular destinations to rent a vacation home this summer, based on traveler inquiries made on HomeAway.com between February and April 2010.  The top five most popular summer travel destinations include:

  • Orlando, Fla.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Cape Cod, Mass.
  • Miami, Fla.
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C.

However, when it comes to the fastest growing destinations among travelers, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood reappear as emerging hot spots, growing 119 percent and 130 percent, respectively – compared to the same time last year in which they had already grown by 239 percent and 196 percent.


Home-like Experience of a Vacation Rental Also Big Draw for Travelers


If choosing between a vacation rental and a similarly priced hotel, 77 percent of travelers say they would choose a vacation rental over a hotel because of the home-like experience.

According to the report, travelers say they choose vacation rentals over hotels for the following reasons:


Deals and Discounts On Top of Value Provided by Vacation Rentals

While fewer vacation home owners are offering deals or discounts this summer (55%) compared with last summer (66%), there are still plenty of deals to be had.  Of those owners who are offering deals this summer:

  • 43 percent plan to offer a specific percentage off the rental rate
  • 44 percent plan to offer a specific dollar amount off the rental rate
  • 31 percent plan to offer a free night with the purchase of a specific number of nights
  • 24 percent plan to offer free cleaning services
  • 11 percent plan to offer complimentary products or services, such as free tickets to a theme park
  • 10 percent do not plan to require a minimum-night stay

For the complete findings from the latest edition of the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report, click here.


About the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report
Data for the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report was collected via surveys that poll travelers on vacation rental-and travel-related issues. Survey data collected from HomeAway, Inc. internal customer satisfaction research are based on 838 responses collected between November 13-19, 2010. In addition, some data included in the report was collected from a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of HomeAway among 1,007 U.S. adults between November 15-17, 2010.


For information contact:

Eileen Buesing
Director of Public Relations
HomeAway, Inc.
Office- 512-493-0375
ebuesing@homeaway.com