Vacation Rental Market Analysis: Hilton Head, SC

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
July 8, 2022

Coastal Carolina marshes meet the swaying seas of the Atlantic shoreline in Hilton Head, a barrier island where nautical charm and Southern hospitality draw travelers in from across the country. 

From endless golf courses and seafood eateries to well-groomed beaches and luxe spas, laidback living and all-season recreation make it a prime vacation spot for 2.5 million visitors annually — making it not only a haven for travelers, but also an excellent place to scoop up an investment property.

To help you understand the value of a Hilton Head investment property, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

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

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Hilton Head market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help you make informed decisions when buying a Hilton Head investment property.

Download Our Complete Hilton Head Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

blue icon of a beach house with waves, an umbrella and stars

Why Hilton Head Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

While resort hotels have historically been the go-to for Hilton Head travelers (there are more than 20 on the island), a recent report shows that today’s visitors are booking vacation rental properties more than any other accommodation in the area. That means there’s a unique opportunity to buy a Hilton Head investment property, capture high levels of guest demand, and grow passive income.

Thanks to the island’s variety of activities, that demand is also coming from travelers of all ages. So if owners set up their property to attract all sorts of guests (think business travelers or people with pets), investing in Hilton Head property can be a lucrative choice. 

That said, there’s major interest from multi-generational families and large groups in particular. Trips pick up with spring break in March, and continue to climb into the hot summer travel season. Come winter, there’s more time in between guest stays to make home upgrades that can keep your property in five-star shape before sun-seekers return in warmer months. 

Buying a Hilton Head investment property can be expensive, though. The median home price on the island hovers around $730,000, mirroring its high traveler draw. If you’re hoping to enter the market at a lower price point, it is possible to find more affordable options — just remember it’s best to strike while the iron is hot to reap the benefits of this upward-trending market.

blue icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the center with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Hilton Head Vacation Rental?

With so many travelers opting for vacation rentals in one of America’s best small towns, Hilton Head investment properties have solid income potential. But the market isn’t one-size-fits-all, so there’s a lot to consider when gauging how valuable your home could be and how best to hit your goals.

Property Size

No property is too big or too small when it comes to maximizing earnings for a Hilton Head vacation rental. From one-bedroom condos to sprawling five-bedroom villas, homes of varying sizes in the area grab a similar number of nights booked over the course of a year.

Because smaller properties prove to be just as sought-after as high-occupancy hideaways, investors can find success with less square footage. Two-bedroom homes currently make up nearly half of Hilton Head’s rental inventory — and the top Evolve performer on the island is a home of this size. That means you can buy into the market at a lower price point and still get some serious return on investment.

On the other hand, larger four- and five-bedroom properties are a great option for the bigger groups and families we see heading to the area most often — and they earn higher nightly rates. They’re fewer and farther between in terms of available inventory, but several top-performing homes also sit in this camp. So if you’re willing to pay higher upfront costs, going bigger can prove to be quite lucrative in the long-run, too.

Property Location

With Hilton Head’s pristine coastline, you would think beachfront properties reign supreme. And while shoreline living is certainly a major bonus — four of the top 10 Evolve performers on the island are actually steps from the beach — our Real Estate Services (RES) team says it’s not essential when considering where to purchase a Hilton Head investment property. 

For more affordable (yet soundly profitable) options, you could look for properties near the center of the island or on the Calibogue Sound. You can also prioritize proximity to key Hilton Head hotspots — think world-class golf courses, Harbor Town, or drool-worthy restaurants — to really make the most of your investment.

Property Amenities

With location having a bit more flexibility in determining just how profitable your property can be, it’s more important than ever to have the right amenities in your vacation rental to stand out from the crowd. 

Inside the property, key amenities like WiFi, central air conditioning, fully-stocked kitchens, and Smart TVs are the feels-like-home details that take a property from ordinary to extraordinary. 

You don’t want to forget about outdoor living spaces, either. If you’re going the standalone property route, offering guests a private pool, deck, or balcony makes it easy for guests to enjoy that island breeze. But if you prefer condos, communities with access to resort-style amenities like outdoor pools, tennis courts, hot tubs, and fitness centers should be at the top of your list.

Download Our Full Hilton Head, SC Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With its thriving tourist economy and ability to draw in a diverse population of travelers, Hilton Head is a market with high-speed growth and clear income potential — the perfect spot to consider investing in a short-term rental property. 

To get a glimpse of what your future in the area might hold, download our free Hilton Head Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. Inside you’ll find: 

  • Average daily rate by property size 
  • Expected seasonality in vacation rental demand
  • Average length of stay in high and low seasons
  • Inventory breakdown based on property size

Evaluating your investment opportunities shouldn’t leave you feeling stranded on an island. Use our report to make achieving success smooth-sailing as you launch your vacation rental journey.

Get Your Vacation Rental Performance Report

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