Vacation Rentals Soar in Miami as Full-Time Residents Leave

While Miami has lost residents to other cities in Florida, visitors staying in vacation rentals has increased.

Vacation rentals usually concentrate around booming cities. Sometimes, though, a little cooling down can be a good thing to recalibrate an overheated metropolis. That’s been the case in Miami, where the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Miami-Dade County experienced a population loss between 2020 and 2022, of almost 80,000 people to other parts of Florida. 

The figures marked the county’s first multi-year population loss in 50 years. The pandemic was in part to blame, a residents of the booming city sought less congested places to live. However, surging housing costs were also a big factor, with home prices soaring 53% since June 2020, according to Zillow. So why is this a good thing for short-term rental owners? Read on to find out more.

While The Population Dropped, Tourism Boomed

“The great news is after covid and all the cancellations… for nine of the last 13 weeks, demand was up not only over [the covid period] but over our best of times in 2019 in terms of heads and beds,” David Whitaker, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau told Miami Today last year. “The average daily room rate] is almost 30% higher than 2½ years ago,” and Miami’s is the highest in the nation.

Indeed, Miami-Dade County welcomed more than 26.5 million visitors last year, generating over $20.8 billion, an increase of 8% in tourism revenue over 2021.

Miami is No.1 For Airbnb Vacation Rentals in 2023

Indeed while permanent residents were leaving, short-term visitors arrived in droves. According to independent STR research, March 13-19, 2022, was $358.95, up from $250.70 in pre-pandemic 2019. Revenue per available room averaged $306.49, up from $213.53 in the same week of 2019. Occupancy for that week in the county was 87.8% versus 85.2% in 2019. To meet demand, there has been a surge in new condo constructions, and this year according to, Miami ranks No.1 for short-term Airbnb rental listings in 2023 and the 10th most expensive daily rates.

A slight population decrease in an expensive, burgeoning city could help tourism and vacation rentals for several reasons:

Less Congestion and Pollution

One of the main challenges that Miami faces as a tourist destination is the high level of traffic congestion and air pollution that affect the quality of life and the environment. With fewer residents, there will be less demand for transportation and energy, which could reduce the carbon footprint and improve the mobility and accessibility of the city. This could make Miami more attractive and enjoyable for visitors who want to explore its attractions and neighborhoods without spending hours stuck in traffic or breathing polluted air.

More Diversity and Innovation

Out with the old and in with the new has always brought about change in cities. New visitors come with more opportunities for diversity and innovation in the city’s tourism industry. That means different perspectives, ideas, skills, and experiences. This could foster a more dynamic and creative tourism sector that offers more variety and quality to visitors. For example, new entrepreneurs could launch businesses catering to niche markets or emerging trends, such as eco-tourism, wellness tourism, or cultural tourism. New artists could showcase their talents and express their identities through various art forms, such as music, dance, or graffiti. New immigrants could enrich the city’s cultural heritage and cuisine with their traditions and flavors.

An Increase in Visitors Generates More Income for the City

Tourists bring money to the city that could be spent on increased beautification, eco-friendly development, and supporting the growth of new businesses. In addition, by enhancing Miami’s reputation as a top distinction city will attract more entertainment, business conventions and visitors to sports teams, knowing that the city’s infrastructure, such as roads, parking, and accommodation, including vacation rentals and hotels.

In conclusion, while the population loss in Miami-Dade County during the pandemic may seem like a setback for Miami tourism, it could also be an opportunity for growth and improvement in the long term. By having a smaller but more diverse, innovative, resilient, and sustainable population, Miami could become a more attractive and competitive tourist destination that offers more value and satisfaction to its visitors.

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