By Cara Smith
This article first appeared in print in the June issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
It’s no secret that vacation rentals in Revelstoke have exploded over the last few years and, for better or worse, it appears their availability is still on the rise.
According to data from AirDNA, a business based in Denver, Colorado that provides short-term vacation rental data and analytics, the number of vacation listings in the city has continued to increase. As of March of this year, there were a total of 221 Airbnb and HomeAway listings available in the city.
The number of entire home listings has increased by six per cent year over year from 208 in March 2018 and the number of entire home bookings has gone up by 12 per cent from 187 to 209 in that time. The average occupancy rate for entire home rentals has increased by 18 per cent from 58.5 per cent to 69 per cent since then as well.
This is fairly consistent with other areas in the province such as Fernie and Nelson. Fernie saw an increase in available listings of eight per cent since March 2018 from 222 to 239, while Nelson saw an increase of nine per cent from 122 to 133.
The price of vacation rentals has also gone up in Revelstoke, with an increase of two per cent in the average daily rate. In March 2018, the average daily rate was $394.12, whereas in March of this year, the rate was $403.70.
The actual revenue for hosts and property managers grew by 21 per cent over that year, from an average rate of $230.63 in revenue per available room in March 2018 to $278.63 this year.
While Revelstoke has seen an uptick in rates and revenue, the opposite is happening in Nelson as the average daily rate there has gone down by nine per cent from $171.86 to $155.60 and revenue has dropped by 12 per cent from $113 to $98.67.
AirDNA representative Keti Rostomashvili says this is due to a decrease in occupancy rates.
“[This is] great news for tourists, but of course, bad news for vacation rental hosts and local property managers who are making less in revenue this year than they were last year,” she says.
The City of Revelstoke effectively stopped issuing new vacation rental permits over a year ago, and although there have been signals that a new vacation rental policy would be unveiled early in the new year, so far there has been nothing.
The increase in listings doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in illegal vacation rentals; the Mackenzie Village development allows for short-term rentals under its strata rules and is a significant short-term rental hotspot on the AirDNA map. In addition, vacation rentals are permitted on many other strata and commercially zoned properties in Revelstoke.