Vacasa names St. Augustine a great place to invest in vacation rental

Vacasa, a vacation rental management company, named St. Augustine one of the best places to buy a vacation home in the US markets where the company has a presence.

The announcement comes as local governments attempt to strike a balance between the popularity of vacation rentals and the quality of life for full-time residents.

Vacasa – which is connected to more than 30,000 properties in 34 states of the United States and Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize – recently released its list of “Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home“in 2021.

St. Augustine ranked No. 2, behind Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and ahead of Gulf Shores, Alabama. St. George’s Island is the only other place in Florida mentioned.

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To determine its ranking of the best vacation rental markets, Vacasa analyzed home sales and vacation rental performance data for the past 12 months for vacation destinations across the country where Vacasa and its licensed subsidiaries operate. vacation rentals, ”according to the listing.

Demand from people looking to rent vacation homes is high nationwide, and more people are looking to invest in real estate or rent second homes, according to Vacasa.

About 36% of buyers studied in a Vacasa 2021 report said they wanted to spend less than about $ 400,000, and 46% said they wanted to start making money immediately on their investment.

Realtor Craig Dupler walks through the living room of a duplex, which he co-owns with partners and is licensed as a vacation rental, on C Avenue in St. Augustine Beach on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Dupler is selling the property for $ 1.7 million.

This is the first time that Saint Augustine appears in Vacasa’s report. The list cites the city’s beaches and natural beauty, history and tourist attractions.

The report states that the median home price in St. Augustine is $ 365,576; the rate of return on investment is 7.4%; and the annual gross rental income is $ 46,557.

To calculate the average gross rental income, Vacasa “used actual performance data for the market as a whole, where available, except that Vacasa data only was used for markets where Vacasa manages more than 50 units and where Vacasa’s actual rental performance exceeds the market average by at least 25%, ”according to the company. Vacasa calculated the average rate of return on investment using the averages of property taxes, utilities, HOA fees, insurance and property management fees in each market.

Endless Summer Realty customers include individuals looking to purchase vacation homes for rental purposes. But the return on investment varies, said Jonathan Chapman, a real estate agent for the company.

“There are so many things that go into a vacation rental that make it profitable.… It’s not a very simple equation,” Chapman said.

This includes providing the right kind of decor and creating an experience that makes people want to come back again, he said.

And it’s not as easy as buying a property and turning it into a vacation rental. Local governments and homeowners associations have restrictions on how properties can be used to prevent areas from being oversaturated with passing visitors, Chapman said.

“They are trying to temper the environment with regulations and rules in place. For example, there are only a limited number of permits at St. Augustine Beach,” he said.

Real estate agent Craig Dupler sells his duplex, which he co-owns with partners and is licensed as a vacation rental, on C Avenue in St. Augustine Beach.

Tension on vacation rentals

Some say vacation rentals have changed the character of their neighborhoods by reducing the number of permanent residents and introducing parking, noise and other challenges.

To help strike a balance between the interests of long-term residents and the rights of landlords, local governments have put in place various rules.

The city of St. Augustine has 600 vacation rentals north, said city short-term rental program manager Barry Fox. After a long and controversial process, the City Commission voted in January 2020 to implement regulations for vacation rentals that include annual registration and inspection for safety and code compliance, and requirements for vacation rentals. occupancy and parking, among others.

In May, St. Johns County Commissioners passed vacation rental regulations for properties east of the Intracoastal Waterway, with few exceptions. Additionally, St. Augustine Beach allows for up to 100 temporary accommodation facilities, rentals of less than a month or 30 days, in medium density residential land use areas.

A rental near the dunes at Saint Augustine beach

Real estate agent Craig Dupler has seen the demand from buyers looking for a vacation home to rent or live part of the year. Dupler, who spends most of his time in Gainesville, also works in St. Augustine and sells a vacation rental in St. Augustine Beach that he owns with partners.

He said he often sees people he knows in Gainesville staying part-time in St. Augustine.

“We’ve always called it ‘East Gainesville’,” Dupler said.

Dupler spoke about the vacation rental home he listed for $ 1.7 million right next to St. Augustine Beach. The duplex, which is licensed as a vacation rental in the city, is booked frequently. He negotiates an offer for the property.

“It’s only been on the market for about three weeks,” Dupler said.

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