Vacation rental statistics 2018 – occupancy rates, average stay, average price, and more

If you’re anything like me, you love data.

Data is the fundamental building block of everything. You can break down almost anything into data – sometimes even emotions. Data is beautiful – it helps us understand the world around us, measure and compare, describe and define, evaluate and decide. It helps us choose the correct path in anything we do, and offers a very persuading alibi if things go wrong 🙂  In every sense, data drives the world.

We at Syncbnb are heavily data driven. Not just because we are a tech startup and that’s how it should be, but mainly because Petros and I, co-founded Syncbnb based on data, and we strongly believe that data is above and beyond our intuition and opinions. This is why I decided to start this series of posts with interesting numbers and statistics that might help all of you in your decisions like they help us in ours.

For the first installment of the series, we decided to offer a general overview of the current “State of the Market” based on anonymized data gathered by our customers. With hundreds of thousands of bookings in the past 18 months, there is now a healthy sample to extract useful information that can help vacation rental owners and managers benchmark their progress and evaluate their future moves. We will start with the key takeaways, and at the end of the post you will find the full table to satisfy your data driven appetites.

Key Takeaways

  1. Average Length of Stay
    The average LoS for all vacation rental channels is 5.6 nights. As expected, the larger the rental, the higher the number. Channel wise, Booking.com and the Homeaway group (including VRBO) seem to be at the lead with 6.7 and 7.5 nights respectively, while the clear win belongs to bookings from “All other channels” which includes manual blocks on our system (phone and other offline bookings). The logic behind this is that if you want to book for a long period of time and pay a large sum, you will try to find the owner’s website or phone number to book directly and avoid channel fees.
  2. Average Booking Value
    We calculated this by converting all booking values from their original currencies into USD on October 30th rates. Ranging from $434 to $741, the winner is Airbnb with the “All other channels” segment a close second with $720 per booking.
  3. Average Daily Rate
    With an average of $127 per night, the ADR of vacation rentals is very close to the global average ADR of hotels. Airbnb is leading the race here with a large gap from Booking.com, mainly because Booking.com has many more single guest and 2 guest bookings than the rest of the channels. We still don’t get revenue data from Homeaway group but we are working on it, so we should have numbers next time we run this data gathering.
  4. Average Bookings per Year
    Booking.com takes the top of the podium with 27.1 bookings per year (per rental) with the rest of the field following with numbers as low as 4.5, but the big takeaway here is “All other channels”: With 15 bookings per year it is more clear than ever that you really need to publish your property on as many sites as possible, and ideally have your own website to market individually too. Thankfully Syncbnb is here to help you manage bookings from all these channels and avoid double bookings completely.
  5. Total Nights Booked
    The average nights booked of all our customers is 170 nights per year. Breaking down per channel, the clear winner is Booking.com (183), with “all other channels” contributing a whopping 138 nights to the total.  Customers that list on Airbnb, get an average of 81 booked nights per year from Airbnb, and the number is 74 for Homeaway.
  6. Average Annual Occupancy
    Directly derivative from bookings per year and LoS, the Occupancy of each rental is the main metric every owner and manager should keep an eye on each year. Expenses never stop so we all struggle to keep our rentals as full as possible, and listing on many channels is the main driver towards this goal. This metric only makes sense for the total of bookings from all channels, and the average of all the properties we manage bookings for is 46.5%. However, it is usually much lower when customers come to us and ends up much higher after they have listed on 5-6 channels for at least 12 months.
  7. Average Days between Booking and Checkin
    This was a personal query of mine when I started in this business and I finally get the chance to find out the answer! Interestingly enough, it looks like bookings are done an average of 67 days before check-in! I expected the number to be lower, but thinking about it a bit more it actually makes sense, since many people plan their holidays many months in advance, sometime even a whole year!  It also makes absolute sense seeing this number lower (57) for small rentals (1-2 guests) and rising higher for medium (61) and large rentals (82). Channel wise, it looks like Airbnb guests are late to book, and Booking.com guests book quite earlier.
  8. Average Revenue per Year
    Since we have customers from 86 countries, this number would probably make more sense broken down by region (continent or country) but that would make this report too long to read 🙂 If global numbers make any sense, have a look at the last column of the chart below. But don’t try to add up the numbers from each channel, the way they are calculated does not make sense to add them for the total. In any case, $21,509 sounds like a perfectly healthy amount as a revenue average of all our listings ($8,248 for small rentals, $15,414 for medium and $28,479 for large ones).

Hungry for numbers? Enjoy!  (click on the image for a larger version)

We’d love your feedback – just join the discussion on our Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/syncbnb

For the love of data,
Alexander Caravitis

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