Hudson Valley $278M Short-Term Rental Market, a 99% Jump

It’s no secret that the short-term rental market has exploded in the Hudson Valley since the pandemic. Now, a vacation rental and property management company has quantified this increase in vacation rental spending in the area.

As the pandemic increased demand for more open spaces to work remotely or vacation in-country, beach destinations like the Hamptons and Cape Cod were eclipsed by rentals offering more land, mountain views, and flexible rental terms for quick getaways, says full-service StayMarquis. vacation rental company that recently released a market report for the Hudson Valley.

The region’s gross short-term bookings – the total amount spent by visitors on short-term rentals – was $278 million in 2021, a 99% increase from the $140 million spent in 2020, according to StayMarquis analysis of Airbnb and VRBO listings in Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Sullivan, Dutchess, Delaware, Orange, Putnam, Albany and Rensselaer.

This increase in demand for short-term rentals like Airbnbs has been seen nationwide. Airbnb saw a 280 percent increase net income in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to iProperty Management, an online platform sharing data on the short-term rental market.

In the Hudson Valley, this surge in bookings comes with a 9% year-over-year increase in short-term rental inventory in 2021. Today, there are nearly of 8,000 vacation properties available in all 10 counties. A Sullivan County Airbnb was rated the highest in the state for hospitality last summer, with a near-perfect 5-star rating from more than 100 reviews.

Hot spots: Ulster and Greene counties

Short-term rental activity in the region is heavily concentrated in two counties: Ulster and Greene. Together, they represent more than half of the gross value of Hudson Valley reservations, or a combined $152 million from 2021 through Nov. 1.

The growth, said Max Schuster, Chief Revenue Officer of StayMarquis, comes down to the area’s relatively new status as a vacation destination for New Yorkers compared to traditional vacation markets like the Hamptons.

“You have a relatively nascent market in the Hudson Valley, at a cheaper price, and the supply on the real estate side is coming into the market,” Schuster said. “People have decided to leave other established short-term rental markets for this new market.”

Ulster, along with Columbia and Delaware counties, has the highest annual occupancy rate among short-term renters, according to data from StayMarquis, with occupancy peaking above 60% during peak months. ‘summer. Properties in Greene County, on the other hand, have higher occupancy during the winter months due to their proximity to Hunter, Catskill and Windham ski resorts.

Ulster has had some of the biggest successes in the short-term rental market: rentals in Woodstock brought in $9.8 million in 2021 from its 242 properties, while 324 short-term rentals in Saugerties have grossed a cumulative $15.5 million from 2021 bookings.

Even lesser-known towns like Kerhonkson and Phenicia saw growth, with Phenicia bookings jumping 79% year-over-year in 2021, and Kerhonkson seeing 71% more rental bookings in 2020 compared to the previous year.

“They are within driving distance of [hotspots like Woodstock and Kingston]but a little more secluded or relaxed,” Schuster said.

Future vacation rental destinations?

Predicting which areas could lead the pack in short-term rental growth depends on which cities remain supportive of Airbnbs and other temporary home rentals in the wake of affordable housing issues. Many municipalities, such as Woodstock, Red Hook and New Paltz, have put in place or are considering putting in place limits on how many and which residents can rent their homes, for how long and where.

“In other areas, those regulations haven’t yet been created or established by the city, or there’s no plan to do so,” Schuster said, suggesting that still-unregulated cities in the Valley of the Hudson have the potential to emerge as up-and-coming destinations.

Smaller markets continued to see an expanding vacation rental market, such as Sullivan and Delaware counties, which saw year-over-year increases of 74 and 63 percent, respectively, in 2021. Schuster said that these locations had “not been considered vacation rental destinations” in recent decades.

“People know the Hudson Valley, but they’re exploring these other areas and getting really positive feedback, and that’s driving demand in these places,” Schuster said.

Other towns with rural settings saw an increase in bookings last year, as well as higher prices.

In Dutchess County, for example, Pine Plains saw strong returns from bookings, with a 61% year-over-year jump in 2021 and 151% growth the year before. Customers also paid a premium: The average booking rate per night at Pine Plains was $801 last year, the highest in the county.

There are just 31 listings in the town, and scarcity could play a role in skewing average day-to-day prices compared to towns with more inventory, like Rhinebeck, which has 107 properties for rent. — as well as hotels — according to data from StayMarquis.

In Putnam County, Cold Spring and Garrison have also become popular destinations. Across 54 properties in Cold Spring, the average rate per night was $734, while Garrison’s rate of $665 averaged across 48 property listings.

Although COVID has helped boost the Hudson Valley short-term rental market, Schuster believes growth will continue even after the pandemic.

“We’ve seen continued demand,” Schuster said. “And he was met with a high offer.”

Airbnb data from last year also suggests that regional attraction will continue. In a business trends report released on May 24, Airbnb said, “The most popular type of travel is for families flocking to distant destinations from their big city.” The report found that Airbnb’s summer bookings in rural destinations have doubled since 2019 and the number of travelers booking stays within 300 miles of their home has increased 15% in the first half of 2021 since January 2020.

Major hotel brands are also banking on the region’s popularity and its proximity to New York to boost tourism. At least six new Catskills stations are expected to open in 2022.

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