Every summer, the population of Myrtle Beach grows from 30,000 residents to millions as the annual wave of tourists take up residence. According to the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2016 saw 18.6 million travelers come to stay along the Grand Strand.
With approximately 88 golf courses, 60 miles of uninterrupted beachfront, and attractions like the SkyWheel and 1.2-mile boardwalk, Myrtle Beach is a family-friendly destination that’s conveniently located within driving distance of several East Coast cities.
We’ve been paying close attention to Myrtle Beach because it’s one of the top markets for short-term rental accommodations. To demonstrate why this area is so successful for vacation rental owners, we created our Myrtle Beach Vacation Rental Performance Report to help you understand the market’s average rental income, occupancy rates, booking windows, and inventory.
Here are some of the key factors that make this part of South Carolina’s coast a great place to own a vacation rental:
- Low investment costs
- Ample traveler demand
- Large inventory of vacation rental properties
Why Myrtle Beach is a great place to own a vacation rental
One of the biggest draws of investing in a Myrtle Beach vacation home is that it’s inexpensive.
Real estate in Myrtle Beach is more affordable than other areas along the South Carolina coast. According to Zillow, the median home value is $129,000, and you can buy oceanfront property for a relatively low price.
Another important factor is the consistent tourism in the area. Per our report, there are two peak seasons in Myrtle Beach – spring break in April, when occupancy rates hit 60% or higher, and the summer vacation stretch from June through August, when occupancy rates soar past 80%.
Like clockwork, East Coasters from the north and south flock to Myrtle Beach for spring break or summer vacation, with many families going year after year and renting the same properties.
The strong demand for accommodations during key periods make it easy for owners to fill their vacation rentals and generate a healthy income.
Two- and three-bedroom homes are the most common property sizes in Myrtle Beach, representing 41% and 24% of the inventory in the area (or 65% of the inventory collectively).
According to our report, a two-bedroom vacation rental earns $18,400 at the median and $27,200 at the 75th percentile.
And three-bedroom vacation rentals generate $23,700 at the median and $37,900 at the 75th percentile.
In this area, smaller properties tend to enjoy a higher occupancy rate than larger ones. Families make up the majority of the traveler demographic vacationing in Myrtle Beach, and they’re typically willing to sacrifice size for a smaller property that’s close to the water.
How to outperform the competition in Myrtle Beach
As an established vacation destination, Myrtle Beach sees huge demand for accommodations every year. And with existing hotels, campgrounds, and vacation homes, travelers have a lot of choices when they’re looking to book.
To really succeed in this market – and not just perform at the median – you have to take your performance to the next level.
Must-have amenities: Ocean views and updated decor
Your ability to command a high nightly rate and fill your calendar with bookings depends largely on your property’s location, views, and amenities.
In Myrtle Beach, bad views mean less income. Travelers are coming to this destination to enjoy the ocean and they pay more for water views and beach access. You could have identical units in the same building, but they will generate very different rental income if one faces the side of another building and one faces the ocean.
The right decor will also play an important role in how your vacation rental performs. Many of the condos in Myrtle Beach are in older buildings and require a little TLC to maximize their appeal to travelers.
A small investment in decor can go a long way toward making a property stand out on listing sites. Coastal-themed accents and colorful walls bring the feeling of being at the beach inside, and these cheerful touches will help you catch travelers’ eyes when they’re searching online.
Off-season and shoulder-season bookings
In the report, we break down the difference between properties that are performing at the median (50th percentile) and those performing at the top of the market (75th percentile).
One of the key factors that makes a vacation rental perform in the 75th percentile vs. the 50th is shoulder-season bookings.
It’s easy to fill your vacation rental with guests during the busy summer season when travelers are flocking to the area en masse. But the owners that pull ahead of the pack are the ones who are securing bookings during shoulder season to earn rental income year-round.
To be successful in the off-season, you need sophisticated marketing and pricing strategies to appeal to travelers and incentivize them book. Fortunately, you still have ocean views and fair weather conditions working in your favor to entice travelers to take a trip to Myrtle Beach at any time of the year.
Download our full report for additional details
With steady tourism driving demand for accommodations and low real estate costs, the Myrtle Beach area is proving to be one of the most consistent vacation rental markets.
Are you thinking about buying a vacation rental in this area? Already own a second home in Myrtle Beach and want to outperform the competition?
- Rental income potential by property size
- Average occupancy by property size
- Average daily rate by property size
- Average days booked in advance
- Average length of stay
- Vacation rental inventory by property size
- Occupancy rate by month
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The Myrtle Beach Area
Vacation Rental Performance Report
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