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Bookings Steadily Improve over 2009

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

April 8, 2010 — Rental activity on has continued to surpass that of last season and is even nipping at the heels of the strong 2008 season. As we near the end of the first half of the 2010 Cape and Islands booking season, the data suggests that this year will indeed be a stronger one for homeowners looking to rent their homes. We track the following criteria:

  • Views: the number of times each of our listings is viewed
  • Inquiries: the number of email inquiries vacationers have sent (phone inquiries cannot be tracked)
  • Bookings: the number of weeks that get booked by our vacation rental homeowners

Comparing the data: Cape and Islands bookings so far this year are running 19% ahead of last year but are still lagging 9% behind 2008. The Cape is up 18% over 2009, the Vineyard is up 12%, and Nantucket is up 17%. Given that 2009 bookings overall were running a dismal 23% behind the year before at this point, though, it’s not surprising that we are not yet back to 2008 levels. The Cape remains 11% behind 2008, the Vineyard a mere 3%, and Nantucket is still 17% behind.

In terms of the views and inquiries, which of course precede the bookings, the Cape is experiencing a steady but modest increase, which is reflected in the overall booking numbers. The Islands, however, have received an inordinate rise in both views and inquiries: last month, Vineyard homes received a 58% increase in inquiries and Nantucket a 35% increase over the same month last season! As expected, in the difficult economy last season, the higher-end properties of the Islands suffered the most. So, it stands to reason that this year’s numbers for the Islands are so much more dramatic – they had much further to rebound.

Is the best yet to come? The increased level of interest from vacationers so far this year bodes well for an overall stronger rental season – particularly if the recent trend continues for vacationers to book later and later in the season every year. The last-minute nature of the bookings last year was dramatic, with the first half of the booking season off by as much as 20-25% from the previous year, but the second half resulting in roughly a 35% increase over the previous season’s bookings during the same time period. Talk about a comeback!

Our forecast: We have seen before that it often takes two years to recover from a soft season like last year’s. Vacationers procrastinate during a difficult year and are nevertheless able to find last-minute rentals (often even at discounts), so they tend to delay their decisions again the following year, despite it being the first year of economic recovery - only to find that the acceptable homes are more booked than they expected. They then learn that waiting can be a mistake during a normal year, and presumably they start looking and booking earlier the following one. If so, this would suggest an even more optimistic prediction for the 2011 rental season. In the meantime, the continuing rise in views and inquiries, coupled with the assumption of another surge of last-minute bookings, leads us to believe that this rental season will soon catch up with, if not exceed, the 2008 season.


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