We follow the short term rental market very closely at 5 Points Realty. Being in real estate it’s hard not to have some touchpoint with this market. Most of our agents either have a short term rental in their personal real estate inventory or have clients who have or are looking for investment properties to use as short term rentals.
Our own Rodric Lenhart, 5 Points realty agent and owner of Everlong is our go-to for the pulse of the short term rental market. It has become an important aspect of real estate buying. Rodric had some good news to share. While Charlotte is averaging 59% occupancy, we have maintained 90% and above during the 4 COVID months. We are also at pre-COVID pricing and beyond right now. There is a lot less competition as people switched to the long term or gave up.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected this market. We had just run a story on short term rentals when the pandemic hit and the “Stay at home” order affected everything. Here’s how it looked then.
Now let’s talk about the current state of the short term rental market.
While each state, city, and county has different tolerances around opening back up, Airbnb has some general guidelines applicable to all Airbnb rentals regardless of location. The most important one for consumers is that guests who booked their stay on or before March 14, 2020, may be eligible for the Extenuating Circumstances Policy. If a trip was booked after March 14 the normal cancellation policy applies.
Airbnb in Charlotte seems to be holding steady. Our clients tell us guests are booking and staying. In fact, one of our clients listed her 3-bed, 2-bath home on Airbnb as soon as the Stay at home order was lifted. She and her family temporarily moved in with her parents in another city while her husband was receiving medical treatment in that city. She reports her Airbnb at almost 100% occupancy during the last 2 months.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has gone on record saying travel will never go back to the way it was pre-COVID. He has a great message on Airbnb regarding the state of Airbnb business right now and how Airbnb hosts can re-build their business.
He talks about 4 important trends.
- People are being drawn locally and not abroad trips less than 50 miles from home. Since the Pandemic 30% of Airbnb travelers are domestic. This is even more true as we have learned of the ban on European travel.
- Airbnb offers more affordable options for people who travel. The focus on value is the main driver for travelers.
- A desire for cleanliness and safety. People report being more comfortable in Airbnb versus a large hotel.
- People are booking trips more last minute.
The bottom line is that as the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is a perfect fit for all those trends. This area is a key destination for in-state and regional travelers.
Don’t forget, Charlotte has long been a great real estate investment market and it’s still hot. Both of those factors add up to a positive outlook for Charlotte’s short term rental market moving toward the last half of 2020.