The Fastest Growing US Vacation Rental Locations in 2019

Property management can keep you extremely busy – sometimes it’s good to stick your head above the parapet and understand what’s going on in your market, and the markets around you. How is your city growing? Where should you be expanding next? That’s where this blog post will come in handy. Transparent are vacation rental market intelligence providers, and using our industry-leading data coverage, we’re taking a look at the largest and fastest growing vacation rental markets in the United States. We’ve even included the US market rankings for you to download!

Top 10 largest markets in the US

First up, let’s check out the 10 markets with the highest 2019 STR property count in America below. Unsurprisingly, the top two markets are Floridian. Kissimmee is comfortably leading the way with over 37k properties and, as with Davenport, has still grown significantly since 2018. In addition to Florida, we have 4 other states represented: California, New York, Georgia and Texas –  take a look at Atlanta which, despite its size, has enjoyed a hugely impressive 77% growth in vacation rentals over the last year.

Now we’ll look specifically at growth. First, we found markets with the highest 2018-19 year on year growth, which brought us to Virginia’s Chincoteague… with 7600% growth! However, with only 77 STR properties in Chincoteague in 2019, we thought it would be more interesting and useful to look at the bigger players; the largest 200 markets, and explore their varying levels of growth.

Top 10 growing markets over 1000 properties

The US markets that we considered here consist of at least 1000 unique properties. Below you can see the table that we have put together, which unsurprisingly ranks 5 Floridian cities in the top 10 – including the fastest growing market >1000 of 2019. We also see representation from Alabama and Texas, with 3 markets in Georgia rounding out our top ten.

Top 5 growing markets over 1000 properties – what the numbers say.

With over 1000 short term rental properties, we are considering these top markets in question to be attracting a significant level of demand. Let’s see what further insights into growth and guest behaviour we can uncover on our top 5 through looking at their review (found to be proportionally representative of bookings) data.

St. Augustine, Florida – 96% YoY growth.

Situated along Florida’s East Coast, St. Augustine is the country’s oldest city and home to 14,576 people (1 VR property: 4 residents) It’s known for its historical attractions and culture as well as being the home of Flagler College.

The first chart demonstrates the seasonality seen in St. Augustine, with March being the peak month in 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, monthly reviews have increased for every month except for September, which saw a 23% decrease. Months such as January, March, and April however each saw over 80% growth in reviews compared to 2018.

94.52% of St. Augustine reviews were left by American guests – the map above shows the breakdown of the remaining (international) guests by country of origin. The largest group of these were Canadian 18.72%, while Germany took the second spot with 16.44%.

Orange Beach, Alabama – 79% YoY growth

Alabama’s south coast is known for its white sand and clear water. Orange Beach itself is home to 5,441, and now 5,276 short term rentals too; that’s almost 1 for every person.

May is Orange Beach’s most popular month amongst our 2019 reviewing guests, with January and February the least reviewed months both years. However, January showed the biggest gain in reviews YoY (191%). On the contrary, October saw a 13% decrease. On average Orange Beach reviews increased 49% between 2018 and 2019.

A hugely dominant 99% of Orange Beach reviews came from American guests. The largest number of international reviews came from visitors from Canada at 28%, and the United Kingdom at 14%. Germans and Australians were next most likely guests to visit and review.

Fort Worth, Texas – 79% YoY growth

Just west of Dallas, Fort Worth is the America’s 13th largest city, with almost 900,000 residents and 1,098 short-term rental properties. It is home to many of the best art Museums in Texas including the Kimbell Art Museum.

Fort Worth booking reviews increased 32% on average between 2018 and 2019, with March showing the greatest increase of 69% year on year to become 2019’s top month. The two top reviewed months of 2018, September and October, showed the lowest increases at only 1% and 3% respectively.

In our map meanwhile, we can see that Canada once again had the majority share (18%) of those reviews excepting US guests (94% of total). Guests from the United Kingdom were the next most prevalent, representing 15% of international guest reviews. Mexico made the cut for Fort Worth with 8% of international reviews, just behind Australia (10%).

Atlanta, Georgia – 77% YoY growth

Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with almost half a million residents, Atlanta is packed with important history. A 2019 total of 9,644 STR properties means 1 to every 56 people.

Canadians were again the most common international reviewers, making 16% of the total. Guests from the United Kingdom were second at 12%, and China made the top 5 with 6% of international reviews. US reviewers are still comfortably on top with 92% of total reviews. 

Atlanta has averaged a 34% increase in reviews each month YoY. The peak month in 2018 was October which shifted to March in 2019. February meanwhile showed the biggest gain from year to year with a 100% increase in reviews, while November performed worst with a 6% decrease.

The median number of guests in Atlanta was 2 and the average length of stay was 3 nights in both 2018 and 2019. In addition to this, the average booking window was just 11 days in 2019 – all of these figures are indicative of a city with a high proportion of business travellers. The average daily rate increased marginally from $130 to $132.11 YoY. Friday is the most expensive night in Atlanta while Tuesday took the lowest average in 2019.

Siesta Key, Florida – 77% YoY growth

Known as one of America’s best beaches, with its white sand and clear water, this barrier island is home to 6,565 people and 2,280 vacation rentals – that’s almost one for every three residents. The market sits just off Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico.

With an 82% increase in reviews year on year, April was the most reviewed month of 2019 in Siesta Key. However, 2018’s top month July showed much less improvement, dropping 17% in reviews. As a whole, the average monthly review increase was 30%.

89% of Siesta Key’s reviews came from American guests, with 22% of the remaining guests being Canadian. Outside of North America, a further 21% of international reviews were from Argentina and 18% from the United Kingdom.

Biggest supply states: up and coming cities

Lastly, we wanted to explore things from a practical expansion perspective. Which city in your state is enjoying the fastest growth? Now could be a good time to get involved…