Business is booming for Osceola County vacation homes

KISSIMMEE, Florida – Figures show that 2020 has been a sluggish year for tourist travel, and central Florida has felt the financial impact as tens of millions of dollars in tourism taxes have been lost.


What would you like to know

  • Central Florida lost tens of millions of dollars in tourism taxes due to COVID-19 pandemic in 2020
  • While most businesses in the area are still bouncing back, experts say vacation rentals in Osceola County are booming
  • Vacation rentals are doing better so far than in 2019, before the pandemic hit, despite a drop of around 10,000 homes

As Central Florida continues to rebound, the vacation rental industry in Osceola County is flourishing. Not only is business doing well, but even better than the pre-pandemic figures for 2019.

This is happening with even fewer vacation home rentals available – in 2019, almost 50,000 homes were available, now there are only 40,000.

For the past seven years, Aowei Yin has been managing vacation rental properties. Five of the last few years have been in Kissimmee. Currently, he manages around 100 properties in the Villas at Seven Dwarfs in Kissimmee, which from Christmas week to April next year are almost fully booked.

Situations like this add up to 180 compared to a year ago when revenues were hit hard.

“When people realized that I couldn’t travel anymore, the income went down,” Yin said. “They fell to $ 57 million, or about $ 80 million lost. “

Yin bases his data on AIR DNA.

“They get all the information from Airbnb and Vrbo, these major websites,” Yin explains.

Vacation homes have overtaken paid hotels since the start of the year, according to Experience Kissimmee.

Vacation homes also generate over 50% of the resort tax money month after month since the start of the year.

“We were 90-95% booked for vacation home rentals with most of those locations full,” said Casey Leppanen, Marketing Director of Experience Kissimmee. “We see the same for Christmas and New Years. , so all signs are pointing too, hate to say it, best year ever.

In 2020, Yin said people who owned a vacation home in his community lost around $ 10,000 to $ 20,000. But in 2021, everyone was a winner, he said.

“It depends on the design, how many days are available, but if you’re talking about the income, it’s about $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 for a four bedroom,” Yin said.

Thanksgiving week hotels in Osceola County, according to Experience Kissimmee, were at 83% occupancy. Vacation rental units were almost 95% full.

“Not back to normal, better than normal,” Yin said.

Over the past year, central Florida has also experienced a real estate market boom. At The Villas at Seven Dwarfs in 2019, the average unit listed sold for $ 170,000, this year their average sale price is $ 250,000.

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