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2008-03-28 23:10:00

Vacation Rental Homes Offer Bright Spot in Bleak Real Estate Market

HomeAway, the largest international network of vacation rental web sites, today announced that participation among new second home buyers in the vacation rental industry is at an all-time high, increasing the number and diversity of available vacation homes to travelers.

While second home sales declined in 2007 due to market conditions, the National Assn. of REALTORS  (NAR) today reports a record percentage of new second home buyers – 25% – have purchased vacation homes with the intent to rent them out to vacationers, nearly doubling the number from just two years ago (14% in 2005).

Of those owners who intend to rent, 70% will rely on the Internet to advertise their vacation homes to travelers, according to the responses of proprietary questions HomeAway commissioned in NAR’s annualInvestment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey released today.

“Travelers are the ones who really benefit from the inventory created when a record-breaking one of four homeowners decides to rent their vacation homes,” says Brian Sharples, founder and CEO of HomeAway. “A larger pool of vacation rental homes means more choices in more destinations for the growing number of travelers who are discovering the advantages of vacation rental homes over hotels.”

Earlier this month, travel expert Arthur Frommer called the growing trend of renting vacation homes and apartments “a giant movement,” citing affordability when compared to hotels as the reason. In fact, industry analysts predict U.S. hotel prices will rise 5 to 8% this year.

Another question sponsored by HomeAway as part of the NAR study reveals that more than half of the new vacation owners who did not plan to rent out their homes would consider doing so in the future. This is consistent with HomeAway research indicating homeowners begin to rent two to three years into owning because they don’t use their home as often as they had planned.

About HomeAway, Inc.

The HomeAway, Inc. web sites connect homeowners and property managers with travelers who seek the space, value and amenities of vacation rental homes as an alternative to hotels. With more than 255,000 global listings across the sites, travelers may easily search for budget to luxury-priced vacation rentals on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, CyberRentals.com, CyberRentals.com, GreatRentals.com, TripHomes.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, FeWo-direkt.de and Abritel.fr. The sites also feature Reviews and the HomeAway Rent with Confidence Guarantee™, which help ensure a memorable HomeAway from home® experience. HomeAway is headquartered in Austin, TX and funded by Austin Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, American Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Trident Capital.

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