AirDNA Data Reveals U.S. Short-Term Rentals Industry Thrived in its Best Year on Record

Monday, January 24th, 2022

AirDNA's December review shows 2021 was the best-ever year for U.S. Short-term Rentals, ending well despite a slight dip in the demand growth from 2019 in December (+12.9% vs. +14.3% in November), as the Omicron variant made headlines.

After a slow start to the year, new bookings surged in March to reach record occupancy for the rest of the year. In 2021, short-term rental nights jumped to 22.5% over 2020 levels, with  occupancy rates reaching an all-time high of 60.8%, though AirDNA expects this to reduce in 2022 as more supply enters the market and booking patterns begin to normalize towards pre-pandemic seasonality patterns, alongside the re-emergence of overseas travel.

December ends strongly, despite Omicron threat 

With the breaking news of a new variant disrupting travel plans, the week of Christmas ended with 8% less demand than in 2019, despite pacing 4% higher as of the end of November; though the final week of the year brought in solid demand, 36% higher than in 2019. 

Small cities and destination markets maintained high demand levels (30-60% above 2019), and unlike in 2020, guests took to the skies for their holiday trips this year, with four Hawaiian islands taking the top spots in terms of occupancy.

Outlook promising for another record year

Booked nights for the first quarter are pacing 72% higher than a year ago and 17% above the same point in 2019. Ski resorts are the big winners: Aspen and Vail, CO, and Park City, UT, all have more than double the number of bookings they had at the same point last year. 

"All eyes are on the industry to see if 2022 can keep up the momentum, but as of January, the signs are good for a strong year, backed by continued economic growth and consumer confidence," said AirDNA VP of Research Jamie Lane.