Vacation Rental Market Analysis: Outer Banks, NC

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
June 27, 2023

With over 100 miles of sparkling shoreline and no shortage of history, the Outer Banks is an exciting and relaxing vacation destination. The area’s seaside charm and many to-dos draw four million annual visitors. And that’s exactly what makes buying rental property in the Outer Banks a great consideration for investors. 

To help you understand the investment opportunity this coastal market presents, 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 Outer Banks market averages in the last 12 months and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when purchasing an Outer Banks investment property.

Download Our Complete Outer Banks Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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

Why the Outer Banks Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Whether guests are planning a memorable family getaway, romantic couple’s retreat, or solo tour of historic attractions, the Outer Banks entertains travelers of all kinds with its surf, sand, and calm pace of living. 

The area’s high season tends to hit during the summer months — when visitors can enjoy perfect beach day temperatures and Atlantic breezes. Demand continues in the fall, too, as Outer Banks weather stays mild and sunny and crowds begin to thin out. 

The Outer Banks has many towns to explore, all varying in median home value. Nags End and Kitty Hawk come in around $700,000 and $600,000 respectively, while Hatteras Island offers prices in the upper $400,000s. This gives investors options to fit a broader variety of budgets. What’s more: nearly every town in the Outer Banks area has easy access to the shoreline, helping boost your appeal and performance no matter where you land on price.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with an Outer Banks Vacation Rental?

The strong demand for charming Outer Banks vacations makes the area a worthy rental market to consider. In order to gauge just how much you can make when buying rental property in the Outer Banks, consider these important factors.

Property Size

With many families and large groups coming to the Outer Banks, four- and five-bedroom homes tend to earn the highest annual revenue. But the area’s available inventory is dominated by two- and three-bedroom homes, which means expanding your search to include mid-size properties can uncover a wider selection.

On that note, homes of all sizes actually tend to see similar annual occupancy. So, a small- to mid-size Outer Banks investment property can still be highly profitable with the correct approach — and potentially come in at a lower upfront cost.

Property Location

The beach is a top reason many visit the area, so securing an Outer Banks investment property by the sand (or one within walking distance) is a strong move for investors. According to our real estate experts, the most-booked properties in the Outer Banks have ocean-facing balconies, and are often located in or near popular towns like Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills. Use the shoreline as your guide to discover lucrative properties of all kinds.

If beachfront properties are limited, consider looking near Gallery Row or the shops of Hatteras Island, Duck, and Manteo. These quaint commercial centers offer plenty of shopping and activities, so being close can help you earn more bookings.

Property Amenities

Whether or not you’re right on the sand, make beach adventures convenient for travelers by offering amenities like towels, umbrellas, and toys. If you have outdoor space of your own (like a deck or yard), make sure it’s updated. Comfortable outdoor seating and shaded areas mean guests can continue enjoying the salty air even after they’ve left the dunes.  

Then, think about bringing the beach atmosphere indoors with inviting interior design. Incorporate bright pillows, coastal decor, or an ocean-themed welcome basket to create a more memorable experience for your guests. 

Of course, you never want to forget about the profit-driving amenities travelers have come to expect — and always appreciate. For families visiting the Outer Banks, provide extra sleeping spaces, cribs, and bunks to create that home-away-from-home feel. Touches like self check-in and an informative welcome book can also help you collect more five-star reviews.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with these homes for sale

Download Our Full Outer Banks, NC Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Thriving tourism, small-town charm, and easy access to the Atlantic make buying rental property in the Outer Banks a solid income opportunity for investors.

For a more detailed look at the area’s potential, download our free Outer Banks Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. It includes:

  • 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

Our expert insights can help make evaluating Outer Banks investment properties as easy as watching waves crash against the shore. Take your first step toward an informed vacation rental purchase.  

Get Your Vacation Rental Market Analysis

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