What we are reading…
Vacation Rental Industry
In this space, we frequently keep an eye on the travel and vacation sectors, as they are deeply, often inextricably, tied to the ups and downs of the timeshare industry – one of our primary areas of focus as a team.
As Americans make plans to travel and book their accommodations for their summer and fall trips, it’s worth considering how consumer habits might impact these industries. And, to understand consumers’ habits, it’s worth diving into the forces that may be affecting how they travel, and where they stay.
The Washington Post recently did a great dive into such matters, ultimately concluding that consumers looking to “book a place to stay” have “more options than ever.”
Specifically, the Post explores the burgeoning market for vacation rentals and home sharing, tracking the history of this industry before weighing in on how it’s impacting consumers in 2018.
What takeaways drew our attention?
For one thing, it’s worth considering just how quickly the vacation rental industry has grown. As the Post notes:
“According to a study by the Britain-based IbisWorld, the vacation rental industry grew by 3.6 percent annually between 2011 and 2016, with a particular jump during the last two years. In some resort areas, investors are developing buildings specifically to lease them out as short-term rentals.
The number of websites catering to the industry also has grown. Airbnb makes up only a fraction of those short-term rentals; others include TripAdvisor (which has several global affiliates), Booking.com, and many smaller sites.”
That’s substantial – and it’s leading to some trends that may well be worth looking into for consumers and their advocates. For instance, as the Post notes, this is going to lead to greater variations in quality and price among offerings. As other travel industry experts and watchdogs have pointed out, it may be worthwhile for consumers to spend time researching their potential vacation rental – and how to watch out for potential pitfalls and scams.
At the same time, the Post looks into some of the ways in which this growing industry is affecting (and being affected by) travel destinations at the local level:
“An enormous amount of new legislation in municipalities across the country aims to limit short-term rentals to primary residences. If the unit in question is a second home or investment property, it frequently can’t be rented for a short period. What that means is that “amateur” hosts who use [certain services] have wound up being less affected than the more professional property owners and managers.
Most of those efforts have been driven by residents’ concerns over local affordable housing shortages exacerbated by [homesharing] or… residents’ complaints about noise and crime, according to the Coastal Association of Realtors.”
Ultimately, as the Post concludes, “online vacation rentals are still fairly new, and it’ll be a while before the glitches settle out.”
For more insights and findings – including a thorough breakdown of the types of rentals out there, ranging from those managed by realty agencies to those offered on various booking sites – we encourage you to read the full report from the Washington Post, which is available here.
Other Timeshare Articles of Interest:
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.