Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance
Vacation rental owners provide furnished homes to guests for stays of 30 days or less. This is an important part of local visitor services. People looking for more unique and personal accommodations love vacation rentals. These travelers prefer private dwellings to hotels. Typically we serve those traveling as a family or as a group of friends who want spacious accommodations and full kitchens. Many vacation renters report that they won’t travel any other way when arranging leisure travel accommodations. The vacation rental guest is not the business traveler who is usually best served by hotel accommodations.
We are not competition to hotels. During peak events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Monterey Jazz Festival, Mazda Raceway Motocross, AT&T Golf Tournament, Big Sur Marathon, and Carmel Bach Festival the County badly needs vacation rentals, as hotels frequently lack capacity to support all the visitors who want to attend these events.
SHARING THE EXPERIENCE
We share our homes and local hospitality with our visitors. This is not a new concept. Vacation rentals have been a part of Monterey County’s visitor serving menu since the early 1900's. Some of our members have guest books that go back to the 1920's. We have shared our homes with people of all walks of life and from all over the world.
We not only share our homes but we act as a concierge, referring our guests to restaurants, wineries and local attractions. Vacation rentals also enable visitors to access the California coast, a prime objective of the California Coastal Commission.
This tradition of sharing our homes simply must be preserved. There are currently about 1,500 vacation rentals throughout Monterey County. Our customers want to wake up in a quiet neighborhood, perhaps to the sound of the surf or of a rooster on a farm. Forbes magazine says that home sharing is unstoppable but unfair regulation could send vacation rentals underground. We work with local governments to insure vacation rentals are permitted but with enforceable requirements.
Short-Term Rental Market Overview
On July 8, 2017 the Monterey Herald printed an excellent overview of the short-term rental market in the Monterey area. Jim Johnson of the Herald interviewed two MCVRA directors, Jan Leasure and Dick Matthews, to gather information for the article. Unlike much we read, this one is not biased on the subject. Take the time to read it by clicking here.
The Monterey Herald ran an editorial by Charles (Chip) Bates, an MCVRA director. Chip spoke up and set the record straight about who we are, what we offer, and how we contribute. We bring benefits to the local economy, our neighborhoods, our county government and the visitor serving community.
Short-Term Rentals Do NOT Impact Affordable Housing
Short-term rental (STR) opponents claim that STRs impact affordable housing. A survey was taken in September 2016 to determine if this is factual. STR owners were surveyed throughout incorporated cities and unincorporated areas of Monterey County. Here are the facts.
The survey found that 75.8% of all STRs are either the owner’s primary residence or a second home used by the owner, his family, and friends at times.
STR opponents claim that banning STRs would result in more long-term housing. When asked what owners would do if STRs were completely banned, only 5.9% would offer their home as a long-term rental. The most stated reason that they would not rent long-term was the owners want continued use of the home for personal, family, and friends.
Then the question was asked, if the owner had no other option but to rent the home long-term, what would be the monthly rent? Only 9.1% would charge less than $2,000 per month. Combining these responses indicates only 9.1% of the 5.9% of STRs that would be offered as long term rentals might be considered affordable. This is just 0.54% of all STRs!
STRs will never become affordable housing. To appeal to visitors; STRs must be attractive residences in desirable neighborhoods. These properties are not "affordable." Click here for full survey report.
A separate, independent analysis was done by Mark Brodeur, Pacific Grove’s community and economic development director who reviewed the city's housing stock and came to the same conclusion. Mr. Brodeur states in his analysis, "I can't see how such a small percentage (3.2% are STRs) of all units in the City degrades the long term rental market. I think there are much larger forces in play that affect the housing stock and availability of long term rentals. Certainly "second homes" play a much larger impact than STR's." See Mr. Brodeur's memorandum.
Let’s analyze the unincorporated areas of Monterey County. The 2000 U.S. census determined that there were 37,579 dwelling units in the County. In 2018, a service company retained by the County Tax Collector determined there were 1,044 short-term rentals in the County. STRs represent just 2.8% of all County housing stock. So how can such a small percentage of all units in the County degrade the long term rental market? Furthermore, how many of the 2.8% would actually be “affordable?” As discussed above, only 9.1% would charge less than $2,000 per month. Combining these percentages shows that short-term rentals might add just 0.25% more affordable housing if converted to long-term rentals. The problem is local property values, not short-term rentals. Short-term rentals impacting affordable long term housing is a myth!
Conclusion: STRs have NO impact on affordable housing.
Short-Term Vacation Rentals Provide Affordable Coastal Visitor Lodging
The San Jose Mercury News published an article titled “Are beach vacations for middle-class Californians getting impossible to afford?” It references a new survey from the California Coastal Conservancy. The poll found that while 67 percent of California residents with household incomes over $200,000 a year stay overnight when they visit the coast, only 41 percent of those with household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 do. And just 25 percent of people with incomes under $25,000 stay overnight. For the article, click here.
Coastal lodging availability and cost have been impacted by the California Coast Act which created opposing goals: reigned in development, yet affordable coastal lodging for the visiting public. This has led to insufficient lodging as demand increased. The Carmel Pine Cone published an editorial on May 12, titled “First create a problem, and then pretend to try to solve it.” Click here for the editorial.
Short-term vacation rentals are a solution.
Simply allow owners to offer their existing homes to coastal visitors. No development required! See MCVRA director Chuck Stein's letter published by the Monterey Herald. The California Coastal Commission charged with implementing the Coastal Act strongly agrees that short-term rentals must be permitted along the coastal zone. See the separate description on this website titled “California Coastal Commission Strongly Supports Short-Term Rentals.”
FORMER GUESTS SIGNED OUR PETITION
To demonstrate that vacation rentals serve visitors wanting an experience different from that of a hotel, MCVRA created an online petition for our former guests. A total of 2,048 former guests signed the petition with many also adding a comment pleading or even demanding vacation rental availability. To view this petition, click on Petition.