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2010 Rebounds Somewhat from 2009

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

February 2, 2010 - Early indicators reveal a significant rebound in January bookings for the 2010 summer season over the same period last year. However, the numbers still lag behind those of the previous season (January 2008). Perhaps not surprisingly, prices throughout the region so far remain virtually unchanged from last season - for the first time in years, homeowners on the Cape and Islands have resisted raising their rental prices. The following are, first, our statistics regarding relative bookings and pricing, and following, some conclusions has drawn from these early indications.

Booking and pricing statistics: Overall for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, bookings last month increased 21% over January 2009. Given that those January '09 numbers were off a significant 26% from the preceding 2008 January bookings, it is not surprising that this year's January numbers still fall short of those from two years ago by 12%.

A regional breakdown of bookings shows the Cape by itself increasing 17% over January 2009 (still off 18% from 2008); the Vineyard increasing 25% over 2009 (actually surpassing even 2008's January bookings by 5%); and Nantucket, whose numbers last year were off a whopping 46% from the previous year, has improved 30% over 2009, though still lagging 32% behind January 2008.

Rental homeowners on the Cape have raised their 2010 prices a mere $2 or .09% per week on average over last year; Vineyarders are asking a modest $22 or .75% more; and Nantucketers have actually dropped their rates by $51 or 1.15% per week from last season.

Though just a minor indicator of consumer interest, vacationer traffic to the website looking for rental homes this summer increased by 17% over January of 2009. The natural assumption is that, with more people looking, more will be booking.

Our conclusions: The increased January bookings rate certainly indicates a stronger rental season than last year's. Despite continued high unemployment and economic uncertainty, folks are already booking more vacations than they did at this time last year. Although this is encouraging to rental homeowners, they remain cautious as is indicated by a virtual lack of price increases across the board. Nantucket owners, whose bookings last year fell a dismal 14%, are even lowering their prices in hopes of reducing vacancies this year. While it is possible that the more competitive pricing throughout the region could be luring vacationers, it is our belief that there are other, more effective factors at work.

First, perhaps the most noteworthy event in the rental season last year was not the final total of bookings but rather their last-minute nature. As we reported last fall, bookings for the first three months started last year at an abysmal 20-25% off from the previous year. By June, July and August, however, they had dramatically rebounded with 55%, 24% and 25% increases respectively. This trend was also evident, though less dramatically, in the previous year's booking history. If the trend holds, this year could well emerge even stronger than the pre-recession seasons of 2007 and 2008.

Secondly, last year's wake-up call to homeowners has forced many to work even harder to both market and maintain their properties competitively. Whereas in the past vacationer interest was high and inventory relatively low, the market has changed significantly. Homeowners are having to be creative and tenacious in luring potential tenants, often offering either outright discounts or other perks such as dining coupons and free beach passes.

Given the early booking numbers and the forbearance of homeowners to raise their prices, we remain cautiously optimistic that the 2010 season will be a stronger one for the Cape and Islands this year.


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