Weekly rentals up this summer, but no apparent boon to businesses

Most realtors have seen a busy summer rental season on Shelter Island that you might expect would foretell the beginnings of an economic recovery. But with some exceptions, the rentals are proving to be for shorter periods of time — a long weekend or a week as opposed to a month or two, according to those handling the requests.

If would-be renters are thinking that homeowners would be desperate to rent for lower prices, that’s not what they’re finding.

“It’s quite frankly an insult to clients,” said Janalynn Travis-Messer at Griffing & Collins Real Estate.

She won’t take a $500 a week offer to homeowners. Other realtors agree saying that you can expect to spend at least $2,000 a week for a week’s rental and for that, don’t expect a pool on the property or a water view.

What’s more, if realtors speculated that shorter rentals might mean more sales for local retailers, that’s not what they’re reporting.

“Business is OK, but it’s not up,” said Camille Anglin at Jack’s Marine.

The biggest rise in sales occurred at the beginning of July and again at the beginning of August, similar to previous years when one- and two-month rentals were the norm.

What realtors are seeing this year is late bookings as people unsure if they were going to get a week off this summer suddenly find they have the time, Ms. Travis-Messer said.

Still, Angelo Piccozzi of Dering Harbor Real Estate thinks the single-week rentals may “turn out to be bonanza” this summer. But broker Melina Wein prefers not to get involved with the weekly rentals.

Weekly turnovers require a lot of work for homeowners to get their houses cleaned and set up for the next renter. That not only involves a lot of work for the property owner, but a lot of monitoring for the agent whose reputation is on the line in assuring that the house represented to the client is in the condition promised, she said.

“It’s not worth taking the risk,” Ms. Wein said.

Meanwhile, real Estate broker Georgiana Ketchum is seeing calls pick up for fall rentals on Shelter Island.

For a full look at what’s been happening with the summer rental season on the Island, see Thursday’s Reporter.

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