High demand drives up Grand Strand summer beach rental prices

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - If you’re planning a vacation to the Grand Strand this summer the time to book is now.

Hotels and condos are booking up fast and you’ll probably notice an increase in how much you’re paying compared to last year.

According to the Myrtle Beach Area Lodging Metrics the average rate for a hotel room this week is about $136, which is 22% higher than this time last year.

So what is pushing up the price inflation or demand?

“It’s strictly demand,” said Ryan Swaim, general manager at Dunes Realty.

For more than 50 years, management at Dunes Realty has watched the Grand Strand grow into a vacation destination.

Swaim says the rental company is coming off one of its best years ever.

“Last year there wasn’t a property on our program that didn’t have their best year,” said Swaim.

Right now, rental occupancy is up nearly 68% compared to last year while hotel stays are up nearly 14%.

CCU tourism professor Taylor Demonte says the Grand Strand is such a hot market, he’s doesn’t expect these price hikes to impact the number of people booking reservations.

“The research I’ve been doing for the last 30 years shows demand from our market across the years has been inelastic,” said Demonte.

In 2019, the average cost of a hotel room in June July and August was $299.

Last year, the average went up to $308 a night.

“We raised our prices about 10 percent this year at the beginning of the season and this year there’s very little discounting because everything’s already booked,” said Swaim.

The only major drawback since the pandemic for Dunes has been finding people to help clean their nearly 600 rental properties on checkout day.

“We saw a big problem looking for people last year,” said Swaim.

If you’re still planning to book that summer reservation, now is the time.

“If you haven’t booked yet book soon,” said Swaim.

Dunes Realty says condo owners are typically the ones who set those rental prices but do recommend a reasonable rate.

Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.