Summer rentals are the lifeblood of the Outer Banks barrier islands-- the success of the shops, restaurants, tax base, real estate sales, tourist destinations, historic sites and museums are all dependent on how many visitors come and rent beach houses between May and September.
With the slump in the real estate sales market and the national economic downturn, what's the forecast for 2009 summer beach rentals in the Outer Banks?
People can reserve their favorite houses early with a small deposit; then in January, half of the rent is due for a confirmed reservation. Confirmation deposit receipts are lagging by about 25% this year. The hope is that some of these missed payments will filter in and local brokers are of the opinion that rental revenues will be down by about 15% from 2008. The hope is that people downgrading from European and Carribean vacations will "resort" to the Outer Banks.... and that these will make up for the people who have to cancel out due to lost jobs and other hardship.
Brokers definitely feel that people will be waiting later in the year to make their vacation commitments-- waiting even until the last moment to reserve something, since they can readily check websites to see what houses are still available. There is also early evidence that vacationers will be negotiating for bargains and discounts early and hard. The consumer is king these days!