OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Jersey Shore real estate experts are urging families to book their summer rentals quickly as they expect a spike in demand for homes in the coming weeks.
Maria Kirk, who runs the 20-year-old website Shore Summer Rentals, said traffic to her site is up 20% since the start of the new year.
“Soon as New Year’s passed, a light bulb goes on, and everyone starts booking,” Kirk said. “We had a really strong January and an even stronger February.”
She said the recent stretch of sunny weather has also nudged people to browse rentals.
“I have a feeling this year is going to be just like last year, maybe even better,” Kirk said. “Last year was a little slower, but at the end, everybody was booked.”
Mary Ann Madrak, who lives in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, said her family already booked their summer rental in Ocean City.
“We didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity, and we had very specific needs as far as location, number of bedrooms, things like that,” Madrak said. “We were able to find something that suited us, so it took a little bit of planning and contacting different real estate agents to find the perfect place that would be best for us.”
Cape May County Department of Tourism’s Diane Wieland said they’re also seeing more people book rentals through September.
“That’s a good thing because we are trying to expand our marketing to include almost all four seasons,” Wieland said.
However, she said a lot of people don’t have as much confidence in the economy and are looking to save money.
She said prices for rentals remain roughly the same compared to last year.
“We’re seeing an increase in multi-families coming together, renting a larger house or condo, so they can combine and share costs,” Wieland said. “Those who might be taking a seven-day might be looking for four or five days.”