2018 Vacation Rental Performance Report: Panama City Beach & Destin

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
June 28, 2018

The area of Northwest Florida that borders Georgia and Alabama is known as the Florida Panhandle. Not only is it home to the state’s capital, Tallahassee, the Florida Panhandle is well known for its white sandy beaches and southern charm.

Because of its proximity to surrounding states, the Panhandle is the premiere destination for visitors looking to enjoy the beach without having to fly or spend too much time traveling. Rising in popularity for travel groups of all kinds – from families looking to get away to friends looking to enjoy a long weekend – the Panhandle even took our #1 spot on 2018’s Top 10 Places to Invest.

In our Vacation Rental Performance Reports for the Panama City Beach and Destin Areas, we analyzed thousands of vacation rental listings and compiled all the data to give existing owners and prospective buyers a good idea of what to expect.

Some of the key factors we’ve identified that are contributing to the region’s immense success for vacation rentals are:

  • The desire for the privacy and amenities that vacation rentals offer
  • Close proximity to landlocked neighboring states
  • Florida’s popularity as a destination for snowbirds
  • High occupancy rates that high season can bring

Panama City Beach and Destin tend to attract different demographics of travelers. However, vacation rentals in both areas are likely to be booked upwards of 60% of the year – making either a top destination to eventually make a big profit on your investment.

Why Panama City Beach Vacation Rentals Are So Successful

Panama City Beach and its neighboring area of Port Saint Joe, is in the midst of a huge uptick in popularity – with PCB’s tourism in May 2017 increasing by 14% compared to the previous year. And while there are no shortages of high-rise hotels for guests, many travelers are still choosing to stay in vacation rentals over resorts.

With an average length of stay falling between 5-7 days, guests are looking for a place they can call home. Vacation rentals offer the experience they’re looking for – one with space, privacy, and comfort.

Panama City Beach also attracts guests who are traveling in bigger groups, which makes vacation rentals the best option for accommodations.

Why Destin Area Vacation Rentals Are So Successful

The go-to beach getaway for couples or families, Destin and the surrounding areas of Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach and Santa Rosa Beach, are known for their expansive white sand beaches and relaxed atmosphere. In fact, at peak season, Destin alone had an estimated 25,000 tourists in the city – about tripling the regular population of 13,000 people.

Unlike other beaches in the surrounding area, Destin isn’t known as a destination for spring-breakers and young travelers. It’s known as a great getaway for families looking to find a home away from home, and get some needed rest and relaxation. These are the types of travelers that cost-effective and private vacation rentals were made for. In addition, Destin area vacation rentals don’t

have to compete with high rises or resorts, but instead just have to stand out against neighborly competition.

How Much Can You Make with a Vacation Rental in Panama City Beach?

Graphs illustrating how much revenue a vacation rental owner can make with 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom homes in Panama City Beach, Florida

Two-bedroom rentals, which are the most popular in Panama City Beach, take up 36% of the rental inventory and have an average yearly occupancy rate of 55%. A two-bedroom in the median can expect to make around $30,911, while a rental that performs in the 75th percentile can make up to $40,552.

The second-most popular vacation rentals are three-bedroom properties, which take up 25% of the inventory. Three-bedroom properties can expect to make around $41,126, but those that perform in the 75th percentile earn up to $51,149.

Out of all the places in the Florida Panhandle, Panama City Beach may be the most competitive when it comes to vacation rental. But, there are many ways to ensure that your property is booked over your neighbor’s:

  • Pool and/or hot tub access
  • Listing descriptions that mention proximity to attractions
  • Quick response rates

How Much Can You Make with a Vacation Rental in Destin?

Graphs illustrating how much revenue a vacation rental owner can make with 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom homes in Destin, Florida

Just like in Panama City Beach, Destin vacation rental inventory is dominated by two- and three-bedroom rentals.

Two-bedroom rentals take the lead with 38% of the inventory. In the 50th percentile, rentals can make around $31,756 while in the 75th percentile they can make $44,186.

Three-bedroom rentals take up 24% of the inventory, with those in the 50th percentile making $38,870. Those in the 75th percentile make much more – boasting up to $53,926.

Because Destin is more of a quiet and quaint family getaway, there are different ways to go about getting ahead of the competition:

  • Professionalism – pro photos and a well-written description
  • Flexible minimum stay requirements
  • Competitive pricing

Download the Full Reports to See More Data About the Florida Panhandle

Thinking about buying a second home in the Destin or Panama City Beach area?

Download our free 2018 Vacation Rental Performance Reports for the Florida Panhandle to see:

  • Rental income potential by property size
  • Average occupancy by property size
  • Average daily rate by property size
  • Average length of stay
  • Vacation rental inventory by property size
  • Occupancy rate by month

Get Your Vacation Rental Performance Report

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