Vacation Rental Market Analysis: Tucson, AZ

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
August 4, 2022

Home to world-class golf courses, 249 scenic trails, and a humming food and arts scene, Tucson is a growing spot for tourism in the Southwest. 

From retirees seeking winter warmth to families enjoying Tucson’s stacked roster of kid-friendly activities, over 6 million visitors flock to this desert location each year — so it should come as no surprise that real estate investing in Tucson offers major income potential for owners, too.

To help you understand the opportunity this top vacation rental 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 Tucson market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart decisions when buying an investment property in Tucson.

Download Our Complete Tucson Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Purple icon of a Southwestern home with cactus, shrub and stars

Why Tucson Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

With great weather and a wide range of exciting things to do,  you’ll find no shortage of short-term rental potential in Tucson. Attractions like the Pima Air & Space Museum, San Xavier del Bac Mission Church, Reid Park Zoo, and a vibrant downtown scene create year-round buzz — meaning occupancy rates are consistently high for vacation rentals.

That said, Tucson does see peak demand at certain times of the year. High season spans November to March, when the area experiences dry, sunny days and mild temperatures ranging from 45 to 75 degrees. Many Tucson visitors consider these temperate months prime for enjoying the outdoors, causing spikes in travel plans (and booking opportunities for investors). A second surge occurs in Mid-August, when classes at the University of Arizona begin and families help their students settle in. 

The median home value in Tucson currently averages just over $322,000. This is fairly affordable territory for interested investors, especially when compared to other desert hotspots like Palm Springs. The city also has 175 neighborhoods, giving buyers options to choose from a variety of home types, sizes, and price tags.

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

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Tucson Vacation Rental?

As a hub for tourism with year-round interest, Tucson offers major profit potential and the chance for vacation rental owners to earn long-term guest trust and repeat bookings. To gauge just how much you might make in this market,  you’ll want to consider these important factors.

Property Size

Go big or go home, right? In Tucson, five-bedroom properties rake in the most yearly revenue by a decent stretch, thanks to their ability to accommodate anywhere from eight to 14 guests and set the highest nightly rates. (It also helps them capture the high demand coming from family travel). Homes of this size make up a very small percentage of local inventory, though, so interested buyers have to act fast if they find one available for purchase.

Luckily, three- and four-bedroom homes are another great option to consider. They see the most nights booked annually of any property size, and the right property even has the potential to earn more than its five-bedroom neighbor. They also happen to be the most common on the market, so investors may have an easier time scooping one up. 

For those seeking an even smaller vacation rental, a one-bedroom property could be the way to go. These homes or condos often attract retired couples, snowbirds, solo adventurers, and business travelers. As a result, owners can earn solid occupancy throughout the year at a much lower purchase price.

Property Location

Though Tucson’s footprint is fairly spread out, our experts say properties close to downtown (known as Old Tucson) provide travelers with the most convenience. Look for homes within walking distance of popular restaurants and shops, since these city attractions are often a top priority for guests.

Keep proximity to popular local attractions in mind, too, so it’s especially easy for guests to get out and about. You can appeal to families with a property close to the University of Arizona and kid-friendly activities; grab the attention of golfers with a home set right off a course; or entice outdoor enthusiasts with a simple commute to the area’s many scenic trails.

Property Amenities

Speaking of those nature enthusiasts, our team says outdoor spaces on-property are crucial for attracting guests to your vacation rental and helping them create long-lasting memories — which in turn earns you five-star reviews

Find a home with a deck or patio, then maximize those spaces with profit-driving amenities like grills, fire pits, shade for hot desert days, and comfortable outdoor seating. Views of any kind — whether of the city, the mountains, the desert, or all three — are another great way to bring the outdoors directly to your guests. 

Pools are also a major draw for travelers of all generations in Tucson, and rank as one of the most searched-for amenities year after year. Though a private pool is ideal, finding a condo with access to a community pool is also a major perk that’s likely to drive more bookings. 

Of course, it’s smart to include touches that make your home accessible to all kinds of guests, too. Kid-friendly amenities like a high chair, crib, or Pack N’ Play make travel less stressful for families. And one-story homes with walk-in showers provide comfort and convenience for older guests.

Download Our Full Tucson Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Flourishing tourism, an appealing climate, and plenty of year-round fun make the city of Tucson a top choice for a vacation rental investment. 

Whether you’re exploring your first vacation rental investment options or adding to a growing portfolio, download our free Tucson Vacation Rental Market Analysis today for an expert look at your income potential. 

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

Real estate investing in Tucson shouldn’t be as hard as finding water in the desert. Take advantage of our report and beat the heat with an informed and profitable vacation rental investment.

Get Your Vacation Rental Market Analysis

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