The Enduring Strength of the St John Rental Market
Even as the economic roller coaster permeates real estate and financial markets globally, here on St John, the real estate rental market refuses to burst. Both long and short term rentals on island continue to command high prices in what seems to be a reflection of the steady stream of demand and extreme shortage of supply.
Short term rental villas have solidified their position in vacation accommodations on St John. Even with as many as 900 properties available for weekly vacation rentals on island, occupancy for this season was strong and projections for next season are strong from a poll of booking agents and owners, with most properties already booking up or nearly sold out for the 2017 high season. With short term vacation rentals, owners who have good property management can expect nearly 100% occupancy for Nov 1 - May 1. And it does not turn off like a switch. The summer months can see as high as 80% occupancy on average for June and July. August and November average at about 50% occupancy. It is no wonder that investing in real estate on St John has it's advantages. The short term market provides a viable stream of income to the owners who also want occasional use of their homes and can be the best option for owners who want their home professionally maintained and cleaned weekly.
Long term rentals are difficult to come by. The extremely high demand, coupled with the limited inventory have set monthly lease rates (on year long leases) to an average of $1800 for a one bedroom apartment plus utilities. Furnished apartments go for even more. With rates this high, many owners have built small apartments below their homes or on their properties to capitalize on the additional income stream. Some have developed small apartment buildings or condos on vacant lots to target this lucrative market.
All in all, owners and buyers can take comfort in the fact that properties on St John can and will continue to provide real income from rent, be it year leases or weekly guests. Get in touch with me if you would like to further discuss the rental possibilities of properties here on St John.