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June Sets Record for Cape & Islands Vacation Rental Bookings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elizabeth Weedon
Phone: (888) 281-8660
E-mail: elizabeth@weneedavacation.com

July 1, 2010 - In the month of June, Cape Cod and Islands vacation homes listed on WeNeedaVacation.com experienced the greatest number of bookings than any other month in our 12-year history - 12% ahead of June 2009 and a remarkable 46% ahead of June 2008. Whereas traditionally vacationers tended to book in the earlier months of January-March, the trend more recently reflects a significant shift toward selecting their vacation homes increasingly later each year.

Overall for the season so far, bookings are continuing their steady comeback to the healthier booking numbers of 2008 and before. Both Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are posting bookings substantially higher than those of last year's and apace or even ahead of the year before. Nantucket bookings, however, despite achieving decent gains over last year, continue to lag substantially behind those of the healthier 2008 season. Notably, in all three sectors, fall bookings are already up sharply from both last year and even the year before.

Specifically, July and August bookings on the Cape to date are running 10.1% ahead of last year and .7% ahead of 2008; the Vineyard's are up 13.7% over 2009 and nearly 4% ahead of 2008; and Nantucket's bookings are up 8.6% over 2009 but are still a fairly significant 11.3% behind 2008.

Fall season (post Labor Day) bookings are already showing substantive gains over both of the last two years in every sector including Nantucket. Cape Cod's fall numbers are 18.2% ahead of 2009 and 13.1% ahead of 2008. Fall bookings on the Vineyard are the most dramatically improved of all: up a staggering 34.1% over last year and even 28% over 2008. And Nantucket, too, is enjoying higher fall bookings with a 5.1% increase over last year and an even higher 8.6% increase over 2008. The interest in fall season bookings throughout the Cape and Islands continues to increase with overall bookings for September and October up 19.2% from 2009 and 14.9% ahead of 2008.

Pricing: When we examined initial pricing for the 2010 booking season in January, we detected virtually no price change from the previous season. Usually, we see a 2-4% rise yearly, but this year in the winter, homeowners held their prices steady. Now, as the actual rental season commences, initial pricing continues to hold steady on the Cape & Vineyard but is dropping on Nantucket where prices have so far fallen an average of $145 per week from last year. Given the lagging bookings and volume of availability on the Island, we expect prices there to drop even further.

Naturally, early booking season pricing is a good indicator of our homeowners' sense of the ever-evolving market conditions for the upcoming rental season. Homeowners may post an initial price for the summer and then either lower it or even raise it depending on how confident they feel about their rental prospects for the season. Every spring, we have seen modest reductions in prices across the board due to owners feeling the need to be more competitive in order to fill vacancies. Last year, due to the poor economic climate, we saw the most dramatic cutting in our 12 year history. This year, however, price reductions have occurred, but they are more in line with what we saw during the years prior to last year. Of the almost 500 homes that made price adjustments during June for our Cape Cod inventory, for example, the average change was a drop of a mere $56 per week versus the initial price established at the outset of the booking season.

Our Conclusions: Although we have seen before that it often takes two years to recover from a soft season like last year's, this year appears to have already made a successful rebound to the healthier booking levels of 2008. Fairly consistent pricing this far into the booking season supports the notion that most homeowners are experiencing relatively positive results and, other than Nantucketers, remaining resistant to reducing their prices. While it does not appear as though procrastination on the part of vacationers is creating the huge savings they might have hoped for, there is, however, a fairly substantial amount of inventory still posting availability. So, even though vacationers might not expect great deals this year, they should remain confident that it's still not too late to book a terrific rental property.

The fall secret is out: Those of us who own homes on the Cape and Islands have long been aware of the benefits of being here in the fall. The significant rise in fall bookings already this year now indicates that vacationers are also realizing the attractiveness of the fall's lower rental prices, usually great weather, access to all summer activities, and the lack of crowds and traffic.

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About WeNeedaVacation.com: Since 1997, WeNeedaVacation.com has been providing an efficient and inexpensive way of matching vacationers and vacation rental homeowners. The website lists more than 4,000 properties on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The WeNeedaVacation.com 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 collectively has over 100 years of experience as Cape & Islands vacation rental homeowners. We love the Cape and Islands, work hard to promote this special place, and proudly belong to 17 local Chambers of Commerce.

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Phone: (888) 281-8660