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2010 Cape & Islands Vacation Rental Bookings Outshine 2009

Contact: Elizabeth Weedon
Phone: (888) 281-8660

September 22, 2010 — According to the 2010 rental season booking numbers tracked by, demand for vacation rentals on Cape Cod and the Islands was considerably higher this season than in 2009 but still barely equivalent to the stronger 2008 levels. Overall for the three regions (Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard), bookings were 5% higher than in 2009 but still lagged 2008 numbers by a mere 1.7%. Interestingly, the Islands posted more dramatic results than the Cape: Nantucket’s bookings for the past two seasons were markedly off their 2008 numbers, while the Vineyard’s on the other hand increased sharply this year, both from 2009 and 2008.

Specifically, bookings this season on the Cape were up 5% over last year but still fell 1.4% short of 2008’s. Nantucket’s improved 4% this year over last but were still 8% behind 2008. And only the Vineyard posted a remarkable 12.5% increase over last year and even a 4.5% increase over 2008. The increased popularity of the Vineyard is even more surprising given that region’s relatively softer rental numbers during the 2005-2007 seasons.

Vacationer demand for rentals was relatively strong right from the early (January-February) booking season – a marked difference from last year, which saw an abysmal start followed by a fairly dramatic recovery late in the booking season. Because of that last-minute resurgence last year, this year’s later bookings were somewhat off 2009’s but continue to strongly underscore the trend toward more last-minute bookings. Vacation rentals booked this June, for example, were 40% higher than in June of 2008!

And vacationers are not just booking increasingly more last-minute, they are also choosing to take their vacations after Labor Day. The popularity of fall rentals has grown substantially over the last few years. So far this year, fall rentals are up over 9% from last year’s strong fall season and as much as nearly 15% over 2008’s. More specifically, the Cape and Nantucket both had similar trends with increases in both of the last two years, but the Vineyard fall bookings were up a remarkable 20% over both of the last two years.

In terms of the relative success according to price bands across the region, the trend shows the very small/modest properties have experienced a modest increase in bookings, the middle range ($1,000-$3,000 per week) properties have lagged somewhat, and the high-end ($3,000/week and above) have seen a healthy increase (17%) over the past couple of years.

Our forecast: We believe the 2011 rental season will be quite strong. Unlike much of last year, the weather throughout this spring, summer and fall has been exceptionally beautiful – ideal for vacationers and creating happy summertime memories, which will undoubtedly make folks even more disposed to booking a Cape or Islands vacation next year.

It often takes two years to recover from a relatively soft season like 2009 in which high inventory and reduced demand created opportunities for vacationers to find plenty of last-minute options and reduced rates. Followed by the higher demand this summer and the enjoyment afforded by the great weather, we believe vacationers will be more enthusiastic than ever to return to the Cape and Islands next year. In fact, they may book earlier, knowing that they may not find their ideal rental last-minute or at the bargain rates they sometimes have in the recent past.


About WeNeedaVacation: Since 1997, WeNeedaVacation has been providing an efficient and inexpensive way of matching vacationers and vacation rental homeowners. The website lists nearly 4,000 properties on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The WeNeedaVacation Vacation Planner also offers extensive information to the 175,000+ vacationers who use our site yearly, including information about beaches, events, dining, activities, and shopping. Our amazing staff provides unparalleled guidance to our Cape & Islands vacation rental homeowners. Many of our staff are vacation rental owners themselves, and all work hard to promote this special place. We proudly belong to 17 local Chambers of Commerce.

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Phone: (888) 281-8660