#jersey shore house rentals
Jersey Shore summer rentals are still out there — if you’re flexible
For beachgoers just now starting to search for a Jersey Shore rental property to call home for a week or more this summer, realtors say flexibility is key.
If you wanted the six-bedroom, four-bathroom oceanfront home in Lavallette listed by Birchler Realtors for the first week of August, it’s not available then. Same goes for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom oceanfront condo in nearby Ortley Beach. But last week, both properties were still not booked for the last week of August.
“I wouldn’t say we are sold out by any means,” said Eric Birchler, owner of Birchler Realtors, which has offices in Lavallette and Ortley Beach. But, he said, “there are certain weeks you’re going to have a hard time.”
In seaside communities up and down New Jersey’s 127-mile Atlantic Ocean coastline, real estate agencies have reported an uptick in demand for rental properties of as much as 30 percent over last year. Winter-weary residents throughout the region have snapped up homes along the Jersey Shore in the summer season’s prime weeks — the last two weeks in July and the first two weeks in August.
But realtors say there are homes still available and more properties are expected to come on the market as homeowners finish rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy in hard-hit areas.
Before the 2012 storm, Birchler said his agency typically handled more than 300 rental properties. That number dropped to 150 after Sandy but has since climbed back up to around 250, he said.
The increase in inventory has been met with a bump in demand, Birchler said.
“The good news is people are renting again,” he said. “It’s definitely looking up.”
Rick Guglielmo, who rents his home on 7th Avenue in Ortley Beach that is pictured here, said “the rental market is really strong.” Guglielmo said last week he already has five weeks booked for the season. Rick Guglielmo
Sandy destroyed the first floor of Rick Guglielmo’s property on 7th Avenue in Ortley Beach but the Brielle resident said he repaired the home and had it ready to go the following summer.
He had few takers though. Guglielmo said he only rented the house for two weeks in 2013 at a discount of roughly $1,000 a week.
“There was no one coming down that year,” he said.
Guglielmo listed the property with Birchler Realtors this year. As of last week, he said he already had five weeks booked for nearly the full $3,000-a-week price he used to get before Sandy.
“The rental market is really strong and it seems better,” he said. “I believe in Ortley.”
The bump in interest for rental properties is spread across the Jersey Shore, realtors say.
“Everybody I’m talking to is up compared to last year,” said Randy Sinor, broker at Mary Allen Realty in Ship Bottom and a member of the Ocean County Board of Realtors’ summer rental committee.
Sinor said the agency’s lease count is up more than seven percent over 2014 and up 34 percent over 2013. “Last year was a good year but this year is turning out to be an even better year,” he said.
“Properties are renting but we still have availability for people,” Sinor said. “We’ve got them in all price ranges, all locations.”
Further south in Ocean City, Frank Shoemaker, broker at Berger Realty, said summer rentals have been going very well but “the island is never sold out.”
“There’s always something that you can find if you’re flexible in your week,” he said.
But he said beachgoers hoping to book a property in the prime weeks of summer at the last-minute may be out of luck.
“You’re really even pushing it now to get something that you really want,” he said. “You may be kind of picking what’s left at this point.”
Back in Ocean County, Paul Ward, broker at Ward Realty in Point Pleasant Beach, said beachfront homes are always among the first to book, as well as houses with pools.
And the peak times fill out quickly.
While there is “some availability those weeks are quickly getting absorbed across all rental types,” Ward said.
For potential renters, he had this advice: “sooner is better than later.”