Keys to Long Term Appreciation in Newly Constructed Condos

The long-term appreciation of a condo’s value is heavily influenced by various factors, such as location, economic and area growth, amenities, market conditions, and quality of construction. 

In this blog post we’ll explore how each of these factors affect the appreciation of newly constructed condos, and how you can make an informed decision in order to maximize your investment! 

 

Location, Location, Location 

The location of a condo plays a massive role in long term appreciation. Investing in a condo in a popular destination can bring a significant appreciation as the area continues to develop. The proximity to amenities and area attractions develop a higher demand and appreciation of value. Condos located in prime urban locations, near employment hubs, or in popular vacation destinations tend to experience sustainable appreciation, due to their convenience and demand. 

 

Economic Growth 

The overall economic growth of the location the condo complex is in impacts its value. Areas that have strong economic conditions, job growth, and commercial developments often see increased property values. 

A local economy that is thriving attracts residents and businesses, which drive demand for housing and increase appreciation. 

 

Supply and Demand 

Supply and demand is a factor in condo value appreciation. When demand for condos exceeds the available supply, prices tend to rise. 

Factors that can drive condo values over time:  

  • Population growth 
  • Migration patterns (or travel patterns, in the case of our area)
  • Land availability 
  • Limited new construction opportunities

 

Upgraded Features

Complexes with well maintained common area and access to amenities then to experience higher appreciation. Functional and attractive shared spaces, such as landscaped gardens, community rooms, and recreational facilities tend to enhance the overall experience of condo complexes. 

Features that can improve desirability:

  • Swimming pools
  • Fitness centers
  • Security systems
  • Parking facilities
  • Well maintained landscaping 
  • Upgrades to individual units 
  • Smart home technology

 

Market Conditions and Interest Rates  

General market conditions, including interest rates and  overall real estate market trends can impact condo values. 

Low interest rates can make financing more accessible which can drive demands and increase prices. Limited inventory or high demand can also contribute to appreciation.

It’s important to consider that market conditions can fluctuate, and past performance does not guarantee future appreciation.

 

Quality of Construction

The quality of construction and ongoing maintenance of the condo complex play a significant role in its long-term value. Condos built with solid construction and attention to detail in mind tend to retain their value better. 

Effective management and proactive maintenance of the common areas goes a long way to contribute to the desirability of the condo complex. 

New condos adhere to the latest building codes and energy efficiency standards, which can help command higher prices. 

 

Investing in newly constructed condos offers numerous benefits, like lower purchase prices, appreciation, modern amenities, potential rental income, newer building standards, and warranties.

 

April 2024 Sevier County Real Estate Market Report

We saw average price come back down, from the high we saw in March at $926,103, to $693,604 in April. Which is much closer to what we’ve seen this year, and what we saw last April at $654,004.

January 2024 – $685,047
February 2024 – $689,422
March 2024 – $926,103
April 2024 – $693,604

Days on market during the month of April sat at 80 days. Which is within the range we have seen this year, from 46 t to 82 day.

January 2024 – 82
February 2024 – 64
March 2024 – 46
April 2024 – 80

Price per square foot saw a slight reduction to $382 from $386.

 

We had a large increase in Days on Market for Condos, at 130 days, compared to 68 in March 2024, and 22 in April 2023.

 

The average price for land/lots during saw an increase to $133,517, from $86,410 in March 2023. 

Lots that sold in April spent an average for 179 days on market, up 23% from April 2023 at 146 days. 

Vacation Rental Occupancy Rates: What They Are and Why They Matter

Maximizing your vacation rental occupancy rate is important for maintaining the highest return on your investment property, and that’s something we all want, isn’t it? 

This blog post will walk you through what occupancy rate is, how to calculate it, and a few practical tips to increase yours. 

How to Calculate your Vacation Rental Property Occupancy Rate?

Occupancy rates are calculated by taking the percentage of time a vacation rental property is booked and comparing it to its total time available for bookings. 

Let’s walk through an example. You own a STR in the Smokies and you like to use it for 2 weeks at Christmas, two weeks in the summer, and one week in the fall – for a total of 35 days. 

Which means that your short term vacation rental is available for a total of 330 days. 

Formula: (total days booked/total available days) * 100

If you home is booked for 175 of those days, your occupancy rate is 53%
If you home is booked for 225 of those days, your occupancy rate is 68%

 

What Occupancy Rate Should I Be Looking to Hit for My STR?

Average Airbnb occupancy rates vary from market to market and year to year. You can see how the national average occucancy rate has fluctuate, per AirDNA

  • Trailing twelve months (TTM), March 2023 to February 2024: 55.1%
  • 2023: 55.4%
  • 2022: 58.6%
  • 2021: 60.3%

There are numerous ways you can improve your vacation rental occupancy rates!

 

Optimize Your Price to Increase Your Short Term Rental Occupancy Rate

Pricing is one of the most straightforward ways you can impact your occupancy rates. Utilizing dynamic pricing allows you to adjust your nightly rates based on the demand patterns.  

This gives you the ability to 

  • Offer discounts for longer stays 
  • Incentivize last minute bookings 
  • Lower your rates during slower periods. 

 

Elevate Your Amenities to Improve Your Vacation Rental Occupancy Rate

Set your home apart from the pack by elevating the amenities you offer. That can be done in a number of ways – a more comfortable space, items not found in most rentals, or personal touches upon check in. 

Spend just a bit of time thinking about the things that matter to you when you go on vacation, and decide how you can improve them in your rental! 

Is it important to you that the vacation rental you stay in feels like home? In what ways can you bring a bit of “home” to your rental? (We don’t know anyone that doesn’t like comfy couch blankets…)

Is it important that the short term rental you stay in be unique? What items can you provide in your rental that aren’t found in most others?

Do you feel extra special when you find a personal touch left by the host when you check in? In what ways can you provide those for your guests?

 

Expand your Sleeping Areas to Increase Your Occupancy Rates 

Expanding your sleeping areas allows you to cater to larger groups of people. 

We all know how fun (for the most part) going on vacation with people you love is – why not do your best to make sure everyone is comfortable? 

There are so many ways you can expand your sleeping areas 

  • Could you make one of your rooms a double queen room – hotel style?
  • Could you add bunk beds to the game/recreational room?
  • Could you switch your couches to sleeper sofas?

Not sure how to best expand your sleeping areas? This blog offers practical tips to transform tight spaces into cozy sleeping areas

 

Hire a Professional Property Manager so That You Can Increase Your Occupancy Rates

You might be managing your rental from afar right now, which sometimes makes things hard to react to quickly. 

It’s important to run your numbers before you decide to hire a professional property manager, but you might find that the lift in occupancy rate is worth the cost! 

There are multiple types of property management options you can choose from! 

 

There are tons of other ways you can increase your vacation rental occupancy rates! 

  • Encourage your guests to leave reviews 
  • Offer your guests an incentive to book another stay with you 
  • Optimize your listing – titles, descriptions, and photos
  • Run promotions
  • Consider upgrades

 

Improving your vacation rental occupancy rate isn’t a one and done issue. It requires your continued attention. 

By monitoring your results, evaluating your data, reviewing guest feedback, and taking action on those items you can be sure to see improvements in your occupancy rates. 

 

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Short Term Rental in the Smokies

 

The weather is clearing, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and now is a great time to go through a Spring Maintenance Checklist for your Short Term Rental in the Smokies. 

This blog post will walk you through 7 areas that could use your attention this spring. 

Performing regular maintenance on your short term rental helps you maintain the value of your home and to prevent costly repairs as your home ages. 

 

#1 Inspect the Exterior of Your Home 

Winter can be rough on your home’s exterior! Spring is a fantastic time to take a good look to evaluate if your home might need repairs.

Begin your visual inspection by looking for cracks, peeling paint, warped boards, or loose siding. 

If your home’s exterior is looking a bit dated, Spring is a great time to schedule a fresh stain, or siding replacement. 

 

#2 Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts 

Proper gutter and downspout maintenance may seem like a small task, but it can save you from costly headaches in the long run! 

Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water damage, foundation issues, and roof leaks if not attended to. 

It’s important to remove obstructions and ensure water is being directed away from your home’s foundation. 

 

#3 Inspect and Clean Your HVAC System

Spring is here, which means that summer is well on its way! And summer in the Smokies is no joke – it’s important that you prepare your HVAC system to function optimally for the busy summer season. 

An HVAC inspection can extend the lifespan of your system and ensure it’s operating optimally! 

Your HVAC inspection may include: 

  • Replacement of filters
  • Inspection of ducts for dust, mold and debris
  • Testing of fan motor
  • Check the HVAC cabinet for leaks
  • And More 

Completing regular maintenance on your HVAC system is an excellent way to prevent costly and untimely repairs. 

 

#4 Inspect Your Doors and Windows

Now is the time to check your door and windows for any air leaks, gaps, or cracks that might need to be repaired. 

In order to maintain a tight seal you may need to replace weatherstripping around your doors, or caulking around your windows. 

If your doors and windows are aging you might consider a replacement to more energy efficient materials. 

 

#5 Inspect Your Deck or Patio 

It’s officially porch season! It’s time to give your space a good clean – remove debris, dirt, or mildew buildup. 

Once clean, you’ll want to inspect your decking for any signs of water damage, loose boards, railings, pest damage, or any other damage. 

You might consider adding a fresh coat or stain or sealant. 

Taking care of small issues on your deck can help prevent costly repairs in the future. 

 

#6 Inspect Your Roof 

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. 

Take a close look at your roof as part of your spring maintenance routine. 

You’ll want to look for missing, cracked, or loose shingles, as well as any water stains or leaks in your attic or ceiling which could be a sign of something more serious.

If you notice any serious issues or are unsure about the condition of your roof – call in a professional roofing contractor so that they can compete an inspection for you. 

 

#7 Pest Inspections and Prevention

Pests like porch season too! Now that the weather is warmer, household pests are coming out to play.

Completing some of the other items on the Spring Maintenance Checklist like inspecting your doors, windows, deck, and roof will help you keep pests at bay. 

You may also want to 

  • Take a look around your foundation for any cracks 
  • Make note of any area where you see droppings, chewed materials, or nesting areas

If you have any infestations or disturbances due to pest it’s best to call in a professional pest control service.

Learn more about common pests and how to prevent them here! 

 

As a short-term rental owner in the Smoky Mountains, completing preventative maintenance on your rental property allows you to keep your home in tip-top share, which provides a steady stream of bookings and repeat guests! 

 

March 2023 Sevier County, Tennessee Real Estate Market Update

Homes

Average price saw a 33% jump from last year at $926,103, compared to $693,727 in March of 2023.

There were 30 homes that sold during the month of March at over $1 Million. This is a sizeable lift from the 10 homes sold over $1 Million in February and 12 homes sold over $1 Million in January.

Days on market saw a yet another sizeable reduction to 46 days, down from 64 days on the market in February. This is a 15% reduction when compared to March of 2023 at 54 days on the market.

Price per square foot saw another bump during march at $386, up from $373 in February.

 

 

Lots/Land

 

The average price for land/lots during saw a dip to $86,410 when compared to February at $102,283. This is a 39% reduction when compared to March of 2023, when the average price of land/lots was $141,814.

Lots that sold in March spent an average of 247 days on the market, which is a 52% increase when compared to March of 2023 at 163 days on the market.

 

3 Amenities to Maximize Your Short Term Rental Income

In this blog post, we’re diving deep into three amenities that can help you maximize your rental income: pools, gyms, and hot tubs.

AirDNA provides a few stats related to the availability of these amenities 

  • Pools are found in 44% of luxury properties, versus 25% of budget properties.
  • Hot tubs are featured in about 33% of luxury listings, while only 5% of budget properties include them.
  • Gyms appear in approximately 24% of luxury properties, compared to 16% in budget listings.

 

 

Pools 

There are so many different ways you can provide pool access for your short term rental – resort pool, inground outdoor pool, above ground outdoor pool, stock tank pool, swim spa, or inground indoor pool, and probably many more creative ideas we haven’t listed. 

Most often we see these three types of pools at short term rentals in the Smokes 

  • Resort access 
  • Inground indoor 
  • Swim spa 

Why a pool at your short term rental?

Providing a way for your renters to create memories with the group they are traveling with without leaving your property is a huge benefit! 

Not only is this a benefit to your guest, but can be a benefit to you as a property owner through increased desirability and the ability for higher nightly rates. 

 

Maintenance considerations for the pool at your short term rental

You’ll want to consider ongoing maintenance when deciding if a pool is right for you as a short term property owner, such as 

  • Regular cleaning and chemical treatment.
  • Safety measures (fencing, pool rules, etc.).
  • Potential liability concerns and insurance coverage.

“Specifically, luxury listings with pools see a Revenue Per Available Rental (RevPAR) increase of around 38% compared to those without pools.”

 

Hot tubs 

Your guests have most likely packed their schedules full of fun things to do while they are in town, whether that be a full day out on the town or hiking in the Smokies. 

Providing a way for them to wind down and relax after a long day is such a benefit! 

Not only does a hot tub provide a relaxing experience for your guests, it can also be a benefit to you as property owner by complementing your outdoor space and allowing you to command a premium nightly rate. 

You’ll want to consider ongoing maintenance when deciding if a hot tub is right for you as a short term property owner such as regular cleaning, chemical treatment. As well as, potential liability concerns and required insurance coverage. 

“With a reported RevPAR increase of around 33% for luxury properties with hot tubs.”

 

Gyms 

Maintaining your health is extremely important – what a benefit to provide the ability to do so without having to take additional time out of their well deserved vacations to find the opportunity to do so. 

Adding a gym, whether big or small, to your vacation rental allows you to meet the needs of health conscious individuals conveniently

You’ll want to consider potential liability concerns and required insurance coverage when deciding if adding a gym to your short term rental property is advantageous for you. 

“While the inclusion of pools and hot tubs offers the largest RevPAR and occupancy boosts for higher-tier properties, the inclusion of gyms actually benefits lower-tier properties more. They experience a larger boost in RevPAR and occupancy rates.”

 

*It’s important to note that the information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. While we have made every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. 

 

The Evolution of Short-Term Rentals: A Guide for Potential Property Owners

The vacation rental landscape is rapidly evolving. Today’s travelers demand reliability, comfort, and personalized touches that traditional hotels often struggle to provide. 

By embracing this shift savvy short term rental property owners can set apart their properties and capitalize on a rapidly growing market segment. 

This blog post explores the changing landscape and strategies to position your short-term rental for success!

 

The Changing Landscape of Vacation Rentals

The vacation rental landscape has undergone a number of changes in the rental years. 

Travelers have new expectations. They are looking for reliability, comfort, and personalized touches. Each of these things make short term rentals an attractive option! 

When comparing stand alone vacation homes to traditional hotel stays, the advantages are clear.

 

The ability to have a local experience 

Some guests are looking to live like a local, to explore the off the beaten path things to do, to experience the community vibes.

 

Unique accommodations 

Some guests need a space that fits their unique situations, and some guests are just looking for a way to have a different experience. 

 

Options for extended stays

Some guests are looking for the ability to have an extended experience. 

Maybe they are working in the area on a short term assignment, or maybe they are living a more nomadic lifestyle, which is more prevalent post pandemic. 

Or they might be looking to decide if they’d like to move to the area and want to have a chance to immerse themselves into the community to decide if it’s the right move for them. 

 

What Short-Term Rentals Offer Now

As a potential property owner, tapping into some of the examples below can elevate your rental’s appeal and profitability.

 

Full Service Hospitality 

There are many ways that you can elevate guest experience through full service hospitality.

  • Regular maid service – Could you provide an additional clean during their stay?
  • Curated guest experiences – How can you partner with local establishments to provide an elevated experience for your guest? 
  • Special touches – How could you provide a way for your guest to feel special while they are in house?

 

Personalization 

There are tons of ways to make your short term rental property feel personal!

 

The ability to bring their furry friends along 

The Great Smoky Mountains is a sanctuary for families, couples, and adventure seekers. For many of these visitors, a vacation isn’t complete without their furry friends. 

Offering a pet-friendly rental not only widens your target audience but also adds an emotional touch to your property – it signifies that you care about the entire family. 

After all, pets are family too!

 

Adoption of technology 

By adopting technology you can make your processes easier and simpler – and who does love a seamless experience?

  • In what ways could you make your check in/out process simpler?
  • In what ways might you use technology to ensure your home stays in tip top shape?
  • In what ways might you use technology to ensure your rental is the most comfortable it could be? 

 

Advantages of Short-Term Rentals

Beyond the financial benefits, short-term rentals offer a sense of ownership and creativity that traditional investments may lack. 

In a competitive rental landscape highlighting your properties unique features is an excellent way to stand out and create a sense of belonging for guests who are seeking a local experience. 

The ability to create a personalized and memorable stay for guests sets short-term rentals apart!

 

As the landscape of vacation rentals continues to shift, property owners and managers who embrace innovation have an advantage over traditional hotel stays. 

Set your short term rental property apart by curating an experience – whether that’s in-home personalization, policies that allow for a vast number of situations (pets and extended stays to name a few), processes that are convenient, or local experiences. 

 

February 2024 Sevier County Real Estate Market Statistics

Average price saw a slight bump to $689,422 during February, compared to January at $685,047.

Days on market saw a sizeable reduction to 64 days on the market in February, compared to January at 84 days on the market.

Price per square foot saw a bit of a bump during February at $373, compared to $361 during January.

 

Interesting to note, during February 2 of the 3 condos sold within less than 10 days. Both of these are located on the Parkway, one in Pigeon Forge and one in Gatlinburg.

 

The average price for land/lots during February was $102,283, which is a bit lower than we saw during February of last year at $120,758.

Lots that sold in February spent an average of 92 days on the market, which is a pretty large reduction compared to January at 146 days on the market.

A Shift in Seasons: Potential Opportunities as Easter Arrives Early in 2024

In January, various factors dampened the demand for short-term rentals across the United States. 

 

A notably cold spell, characterized as an “Arctic air mass” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ushered in record low temperatures nationwide,while we endured a relatively severe flu, COVID, and RSV season

 

Which led to total booked nights seeing minimal growth at just 1.3% compared to the same period last year, failing to reach the pre-pandemic occupancy levels witnessed in late 2023.

 

Historically, February stands as the lowest month for listings. This year saw a significant drop of 73,000 listings, a departure from the typical January figures, however this decline aligns with the anticipated reduction characteristic of February. 

 

AirDNA reports Key U.S. STR Performance Metrics for January 2024

  • Revenue per available room (RevPAR) declined 6.6% year-over-year (YOY) to $133.80
  • Available listings were 1.54 million, up 10.5% YOY
  • Total demand (nights) rose 1.3% YOY
  • Occupancy was 7.0% lower YOY at 43.2%
  • Average daily rates (ADRs) increased 0.5% YOY to $309.63
  • Nights booked decreased 2.7% YOY

 

“January produced the first negative YOY change in new bookings (-2.7%) in 21 months. Some of this can be attributed to the strong performance in bookings in January 2023, which stands as the highest monthly bookings recorded in the last 34 months. On the other hand, the growth in demand for January was just 1.3%, which is considerably lower than December’s 4.1% or November’s 7.4% growth rate.”

 

 

What’s that mean for the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area?

 

Our area was one of the 25 markets that saw an increase in demand. 

“Even though demand saw a downturn, the growth in average daily rate (ADR), or the average rental income per paid occupied room in a given period, improved in January compared to December. “

 

This year Easter falls in March, instead of April, so we may see an early influx of Spring Breakers. 

 

The tourism board provides the school breaks for the surrounding areas! 

The majority of the school systems listed on this document will be out during the weeks of 3/25 and 4/1. 

You can use this to see if your short term rental is seeing a shift based on the shift in holidays. 


Sevier County, Tennessee Real Estate Market Report for January 2024

Homes in Sevier County, Tennessee

Average price saw the highest price saw a large drop from $794,087 in December 2023 to $685,047 in January 2024, which is close

Days on market 82 days in January 2024, which is on the higher end of the range that we saw during 2023 of 55 days to 83 days. 

Price per square foot saw a decrease to $361 from $378 in December 2023. 

Land in Sevier County, Tennessee

The average price for land/lots in January 2024 was $266,503 which was a sizable increase from January 2023 at $158,542.

Lots that sold in January 2024 spend an average of 146 days on the market, which was an 11% increase over days on market in January 2023 at 132 days.