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    On Cape Cod, It’s the Question of the Summer: Why Are So Many Vacation Rentals Empty?

    This summer has locals in Cape Cod mystified as to why so many vacation rentals are remaining empty, following years of solid bookings. This past April there were more than 16,000 short-term Cape rentals registered with the state, up from over 12,100 in March of 2021, according to Kristy Senatori, executive director of the Cape Cod Commission. Some of that increase may come from a growing number of owners simply complying with requirements that they register their properties, she said, or from homes being rented on trackable sites such as Airbnb. Blake Decker, CEO of Pretty Picky Properties, a mid-size management company, said there are so many more properties on the market this year that he added an unprecedented 30 percent to his inventory and eventually had to stop accepting new ones. The Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors is reporting an occupancy rate that’s 20 percent lower this season than last. Ryan Castle, CEO of the association, sees three main culprits: a pullback from the “revenge travel” trend that saw surges in spending by people making up for trips lost to the pandemic; a strong dollar that makes overseas destinations palatable; and listings that have finally gotten just too expensive. Whatever is behind the vacancies, Joan Talmadge, co-owner of We Need A Vacation, advised owners: “Don’t wait too long to lower your rates if you aren’t getting the bookings you expected."

    Boston Globe (06/19/23) Beth Teitell

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