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Why Cape Cod Summer Rentals Could Be Cheaper This Year

During the Covid-19 pandemic, while you were optimistically purchasing (and not using) resistance bands for your (unused) home gym (i.e., closet), rich people were apparently buying second homes on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. 

A subsequent dip in the supply of available properties sent summer rates for short-term vacation rentals soaring in the popular seaside destination. From a pre-pandemic July average of $272 per night for a vacation rental, the average rate shot up to $387 per night in July 2021, according to Boston’s WBZ News

By now, though, a lot of those second homeowners have returned to their normal routines, are spending less time on the Cape, and are looking to recoup some of their costs by renting out their Cape houses to vacationers, a Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce official told the Boston Globe

The result: a summer deluge of availability, with nearly 18,000 short-term rentals listed on Cape Cod, according to state data. That’s 12% more than last year and a whopping 50% increase over 2021. WBZ reports that Cape Cod’s total of rentals currently outnumbers that of New York City. 

All that supply is stabilizing prices, the chamber of commerce official told the Globe, and should make it easier for vacationers to find reasonable rates closer to the pre-pandemic level. 

That said, demand remains high despite the boom in inventory—local rental agency Pretty Picky Properties told that about 60% of its rental homes had already been booked up for the season by the middle of February. 

So if you want to experience Cape Cod this summer, there’s not a moment to lose. Start looking now. 

And as the Globe points out, don’t be surprised if a passel of state and local occupancy taxes pushes up the price of your vacation rental by up to 14% for the week. This is Massachusetts, after all.  

If you can’t find a rental to your liking, the state’s data suggests that traditional lodging options such as hotels and B&Bs on Cape Cod tend to have lower occupancy rates and therefore cheaper prices than short-term rentals. 

Related: How to See Provincetown as a Day Trip from Boston