Where have all the short-term renters gone?

By Jessica Flint | Wall Street Journal

According to data from short-term rental analytics firm AirDNA, Arizona’s Phoenix and Scottsdale area, the home of the2023 Super Bowl, has seen a huge increase in booking demand, up 41% year-over-year, as of December 2022. This Sonoran Desert location has also seen an uptick in rental supply, with 23,249 listings in December 2022, up 47% year-over-year. These dynamics have pushed the area’s occupancy rate down 6%. A similar trend has been playing out in other desert destinations such as California’s Coachella Valley, where the Sonoran eventually meets the Mojave Desert, and in Marfa, Texas, in the Chihuahuan Desert. 

In fact, the narrative of rental supply growing faster than rental demand thus pushing occupancy down, has been recently playing out across the U.S. Las Vegas, however, has marginally bucked this trend, says AirDNA, with a 39% increase in booking demand year-over-year but only a 34% increase in supply, leading to an occupancy increase of 5%. 

This isn’t to say all desert locations have a bounty of short-term rental options: In New Mexico, south of Albuquerque into the Chihuahuan Desert, there are just over 3,500 listings. Here’s a look at high-end, short-term rental offerings in three American deserts, as defined by desert expert Dr. Jef Jaeger, associate professor in residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s School of Life Sciences.  


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February 2023