Short-Term Rental Statistics

Posted by Hannah Lapin on Jun 27, 2024 3:10:59 PM

short-term rental statisticsThe real estate industry is brimming with opportunities for investors to make money. One of those opportunities is investing in a vacation rental property. 

Throughout the United States, there are millions of property owners who rent out their units to vacationers, working professionals on business trips, parents visiting college students, and more. The vacation rental industry could be the perfect solution to grow your investment portfolio.



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USA Vacation Rental Market Size Statistics

In the US, the overall revenue in the vacation rental business is projected to reach $19.77 billion in 2024 [1]. Moreover, the number of users in the short-term rental industry is expected to be about 62.57 million [1]. That means there are huge numbers of renters out there, all of whom are looking for attractive properties to stay in during their short visits to new locations. 


Vacation Rental Platforms

Online platforms have completely changed the travel industry in the last few years. Now, property owners and travelers can be quickly connected to complete online sales, making it easier than ever to secure tenants for your property. Some of the top vacation rental companies in the US include Airbnb, Vrbo (owned by Expedia Group), and 

Number of Users

Deciding which vacation rental platform to use could depend on how big you want your potential audience to be. 

Airbnb has over 45 million users each year in the US alone [2]. Expedia has about 48 million users globally, while its vacation rental daughter company, Vrbo, has 15.9 million annual users [3]. is the most visited online travel platform in the world, with over 565 million visitors worldwide, over 10% of which are in the US [4]. 

Number of Listings

Airbnb has over 2.2 million active listings in the United States. Expedia has 139,122 vacation rentals listed in the US [5]. has over 230,000 properties in the US [6].  


Types of Vacation Rental Accommodations

The best part about vacation rentals is they offer more diverse options than basic hotel rooms. This makes it easier for more investors to get involved in the vacation rental industry. 
You can invest in all types of properties to rent out to travelers for short-term bookings, including lodges, barns, entire homes, villas, townhomes, cabins, shared rooms, apartments, and even beach houses. 


Vacation Rental Prices

Vacation rental prices vary widely across the country and are dependent on many factors, such as market size, location, and the presence of other vacation rentals. This is the average cost of short-term rentals per night [7]:

  • Private or shared room – $97
  • Entire single-bedroom accommodation – $182
  • Entire two-bedroom accommodation – $255
  • Entire three-bedroom accommodation – $337

However, in more desirable locations, you can easily find properties that cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars per night. Conversely, some properties are less than a hundred dollars. 

Upkeep Costs of Vacation Rentals

Upkeep is an important task for short-term rental owners. The property will need to be cleaned, repaired, upgraded, and managed both during and between bookings. These extra vacation rental costs will cut into your potential profits, and there are many of them.

General maintenance and repairs could yield average costs between 10% and 15% of every booking. Property management companies cost between 20% and 40% of your average revenue from a booking. 

Airbnb has a listing fee of 3% [8], Vrbo has a commission fee of 5% and a payment processing fee of 3%. [9], and has an average fee of 15% [10] (although it includes additional perks for rental owners and renters). 

You may also need to pay for cleaning services if you are not interested in doing the task yourself.


Vacation Rental Industry Value Growth

The vacation rental market has continued to increase in value over the years, and that trend is expected to continue. The expected industry growth rate between 2024 and 2028 is 1.65%, which would bring the total industry value to $21.11 billion by the end of the period [1].

Also, the annual growth rate in demand in 2023 was 6.7%, and projections for 2024 put the figure at 10.7% year-over-year [11]. These numbers demonstrate the profit potential that continues to be part of the vacation rental market. 

Occupancy Rate

Occupancy rate is an important metric for investors to understand for ROI potential. The higher your occupancy rate, the more total revenue is coming in from tenants. Short-term rental statistics in the US indicate that the average occupancy rate in 2024 will be 54.7%, similar to 2023 numbers [11]. 

This number varies from market to market, so it is important to research the area your vacation rental listings will be in to determine the average occupancy rate and gain valuable insights. 


Best Short-Term Rental Markets

Vacation rental property managers have an easier job when their properties are in the right locations. Location is everything in the vacation rental segment of the real estate world. Short-term rentals are less predictable than conventional rental properties, so it is important to find the right place to bring in substantial vacation rental revenue. 
Here are some of the best short-term rental market options, compared to the average home values in the area [7]. 


Average annual revenue

Average daily rate

Columbus, Georgia 



Ellsworth, Maine



Logan, Ohio



Spring Hill, Florida



Sneads Ferry, North Carolina




Accommodation and Amenities

Research by Airbnb suggests that 97% of US travelers state that vacation rental amenities impacted their overall travel experience [12]. Amenities are essential to include in vacation rental listings because they can make a property stand out from others while also allowing you to charge more per night.

Some amenities are physical, such as appliances, dinnerware, and the layout of the unit. Others are services, such as 24-hour check-in, fast and free Wi-fi, entertainment systems, and reduced cleaning fees. According to the same survey [12], the top amenity in the US is free parking, followed by pools.


How to Invest in a Vacation Rental

Investing in short-term rentals is a complex process, but it becomes much simpler if you are willing to do research. 

You need to understand the market, the best locations, and related property values if you want to buy a vacation rental property with a positive ROI. You must also decide on your preferred vacation rental platform and the amenities you want to include. Finally, the most important element of purchasing a vacation rental is financing.

Vacation Rental Property Loans

For the most part, newer investors cannot afford the upfront price of a vacation rental property. This is why they take out loans to acquire the properties. This is the most common way to finance vacation rentals. Finding short-term rentals is complex enough, so your financing decision should be simple, and it is with Visio Lending. 

You can choose from multiple loan options, including DSCR loans, conventional home mortgages, and vacation rental loans. Call Visio Lending at 888-521-0353 or send an email to with any questions. 


Short-Term Rental Statistics

Q: What is a good cap rate for an Airbnb?

A: The capitalization rate of a property is a measurement of its yield over one year. The higher the cap rate, the more profitable the property is. For an Airbnb property, because of the extra fees required to list with that service, your goal should be a cap rate of at least 8%.

It is calculated by dividing the net operating income by the current market value of the property. This number is heavily influenced by how you finance a short-term rental


Q: What is the average length of stay for short-term rentals?

A: Most short-term rentals have an average length of stay of around 5 nights [13]. This number can fluctuate widely depending on the location of the property. Tourism hotspots such as a popular outdoorsy destination might see higher averages closer to 6 or 7 nights, while low-volume markets could drop as low as 2 or 3 nights per booking. 


Q: What percentage of short-term rental guests are repeat customers?

A: It is estimated that 30–40% of all guests in short-term rentals are repeat customers. As an investor, you can carve out a significant ROI in the short-term rental market by focusing on retaining customers for repeat bookings. 
There are many strategies to help you increase your base of repeat customers, including discounts, welcoming gifts, prompt communication, and asking for customer feedback. 


Q: How does the occupancy rate of short-term rentals compare to that of hotels?

A: It depends on the location’s projected market volume. If your property is located in a tourist hotspot like a big city, then short-term occupancy rates tend to be higher than hotels. However, markets with less appeal to travelers tend to draw in hotel guests at a higher rate than nearby short-term rental owners and other alternative accommodations. 
When it comes to pure averages, US hotels had an occupancy rate of 66% in 2023, while STRs had a rate of 54.8% [12].


Q: Who are the key players in the short-term vacation rental market?

A: As mentioned previously, the two biggest players in the short-term rental market are Airbnb and Vrbo. There are other entities that play a big role as well, including, Expedia, hotel chains, and resorts. When you consider how to run your vacation homes, other parties could become partners, such as professional property managers, contractors, and cleaning services.

Topics: Real Estate Investing

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