From the Press of Atlantic City:
It may seem a bit too early to worry about your plans for July and August, but it may be too late already to rent some local beach houses in the prime weeks of those prime summer months.
Real estate agents from Cape May to Long Beach Island report that their weekly rental homes are moving faster than last year — considerably faster, in some places.
“Interest is strong,” said Frank Shoemaker, of Ocean City’s Berger Realty. “We’re running about 35 percent ahead of where we were last year. We’ve already booked 7,000 rentals for 2015. Last year, we booked over 12,000” for the whole summer, he added.
Two counties to the north, Prudential Zack Shore Properties — which has three Long Beach Island offices — is ahead of even that impressive pace. On a mid-week in late winter, AnneMarie Aresco of the Beach Haven branch ran the numbers and found that “so far, as of this moment, we’re up 37 percent from last year.”
And while no agents expect potential renters to have any trouble finding a place to enjoy a week at the shore, they say customers may have to adjust either their desired locations or desired vacation schedules —or both. Because while there are plenty of homes on the weekly market, some of those prime July and August weeks are booking up, particularly in the most desirable spots.
Still, for all the demand they’re seeing, agents say most renters don’t have to worry about paying a lot more than they’re used to.
“We haven’t seen too much change,” says Allan Dechert, the broker and co-owner of Ferguson Dechert Real Estate, which is based in Avalon but also covers Stone Harbor. “We advise owners that unless they made substantial changes to their property, they should maintain their pricing. We’re competing against a lot of different markets, so you need to stay in line.”
Farther south, Justin Aftanis of Cape May Realty agreed with that assessment.
“We’ve seen some small increases, but not anything we’d put a percentage on. Call them cost-of-living increases,” Aftanis said.