If Maui streets seem a little more crowded, that is because more tourists are arriving on island. This has resulted in some rebound for the vacation rental market. Overall, hawaii vacation rentals were nearly 50% occupied last month, according to data released Wednesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
According to HTA’s monthly Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, vacation rentals throughout the state were 49.8% occupied in February. The figure marks a 34 percentage-point year-over-year decline from last February, when vacation rental units were 84% occupied. Despite the drop, it marks the highest occupancy that vacation rentals have seen since the pandemic began last year — and it’s substantially higher than hotels. During the same period, hotels had an average occupancy rate of 30.5%, a 54 percentage point drop from February 2020, and an ADR of $259.
February’s occupancy for vacation rentals reflects a unit supply of about 534,900 unit nights (down 27% year over year) and a unit demand of more than 266,500 unit nights (down 57%).
The average daily rate, or ADR, for vacation rentals fell only slightly year over year, down 1.3% to $242. For comparison, Hawaii hotels reported an ADR of $259 during February.
In February, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties with 213,200 available unit nights (-7.7%) and unit demand was 112,000 unit nights (-44.7%), resulting in 52.5 percent occupancy (-35.1 percentage points) with an ADR of $281 (-11.0%). Maui County hotels reported ADR at $446 and occupancy of 31.7 percent.
Among the four counties, Kauai vacation rentals reported the largest decline in occupancy — down 63 percentage points — as well as the lowest overall occupancy rate at 20%. Kauai hotels also had the largest decline in occupancy during February, down 57 percentage points to 26%. Kauai vacation rentals also reported the largest drop in unit demand, down 81% to 16,800 room nights.
The Garden Isle left the state’s pre-travel testing program in December, rejoining in January for interisland travel only. It’s slated to rejoin the program for transpacific travel next month.
Hawaii Island vacation rentals had the highest occupancy rate in February at nearly 60%, as well as the smallest year-over-year decline (down 24 percentage points). Oahu wasn’t far behind, with a 56% occupancy rate, which marked a 25 percentage-point drop year over year.
Hawaii Island and Oahu rentals also reported increases in ADR of nearly 20% and 2.2%, respectively. ADR remained flat for Kauai units, and fell by 11% on Maui.
Year-to-date, unit supply statewide was down 21% and unit demand fell by 58%, resulting in an occupancy rate of 44%, a 47 percentage-point drop compared to the same period last year. ADR year-to-date fell 1.8% to $242.
The report defines vacation rentals as “the use of a rental house, condominium unit, private room in private home, or shared room/space in private home,” but does not differentiate between permitted and unpermitted properties. The report utilizes data compiled by Transparent Intelligence, Inc. and is based on properties that are listed on Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway and TripAdvisor. This month’s report includes data for 25,189 units and 43,505 bedrooms.