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Rental Prices Continuing to Rise

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

Wellesley, January 29, 2003--Despite a tough economy and an overall downturn in the travel business, homeowners on the Cape and Islands appear to be cautiously optimistic about the pending rental season, according to a new study by the website company, weneedavacation.com. The study was conducted by Jeff and Joan Talmadge, the owners of the website catering exclusively to the region. They found that Nantucket has clearly emerged as the premier vacation destination for rental homes, charging 60% more than the average rent of similar homes on the Cape.

Furthermore, according to Jeff Talmadge, "the days of high percentage rent increases from season to season are gone." Overall, rents for the 2003 summer season are up 5.4%, with Vineyard homeowners the most cautious and raising rents only by 1.3% this year. On Nantucket, rents are up 6.4% after the 2002 season when homeowners, wary of the market after 9/11, raised rents by only 3.4 percent.

Average weekly rental prices for the upcoming season are $2,346 for the Cape, $2,627 for Martha's Vineyard, and $3,687 for Nantucket. Looking at the numbers another way, the average weekly rental for a Nantucket home is 57% higher than the overall average, while renting for a week on the Vineyard, at only 12% higher, is now comparable to a week's vacation on Cape Cod.

"Part of the change is certainly supply and demand," said Joan Talmadge. "The truth is there are fewer homes for rent on Nantucket, which creates a premium. At the same time, construction on the Cape and the Vineyard has created a bigger supply in summer rental properties, from the high end to low end."

On the Cape, the Talmadges found that different regions commanded different price changes. The greatest increases for 2003 were in the Upper and Mid-Cape which went up 8.2% and 7%, respectively. And with the Lower and OuterCape up 5.3% and 6%, those towns nearest the bridge are beginning to match the prices commanded further down Route 6.

Among all the rental properties, waterfront homes still bring the highest rents, often 50 to 60 percent higher than the average. Nonetheless, the Talmadges have found that, first and foremost, vacationers using their website want to walk to the beach, not drive.

"Our most popular search feature on the website is the ability to walk to the beach," said Jeff Talmadge. "We were surprised to see that it outweighed the criteria of 'water view' or 'on the water.'" Talmadge also noted that the ability to grab the bag, blankets, and kids and simply walk to the beach costs vacationers about 30% more than the average rental.

Generally, said the Talmadges, the price increases, even the modest rise on the Vineyard, demonstrates a certain optimism about the economy. "Certainly, one way to look at the travel industry on the Cape and the Islands is to ask homeowners about rental prices," said Jeff Talmadge. "And, clearly, our homeowners are not showing any signs of deep concern. While the days of the big rent hikes may be gone, which is good news for vacationers, the five percent overall increase is still higher than the consumer price index and bodes well for the coming season."

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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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Email: info@weneedavacation.com

Phone: (888) 281-8660