Demand Low but Room Rates Rising for US Hotels

The US hotel market has a few mixed messages for property investors as it progresses further into the second quarter of the year...

The US hotel market has a few mixed messages for property investors as it progresses further into the second quarter of the year. Data from STR shows that in the week ending April 20th, occupancy was down by 1.2 per cent to 64.7 per cent, but average daily rates and revenue per available room both increased by 2.6 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

As the hotel market entered the final week of April, daily rates stood at USD 109.62 (GBP 70.50), while revenue per available room was recorded at USD 70.90 (GBP 45.50). While the Boston terrorist attacks have been attributed to the figures, the summer months look set to deliver more of the same. Jan Freitag, a senior executive at STR, told USA Today that consumers should prepare for high prices, particularly in hot spots.

"San Francisco and New Orleans lead the pack in terms of room rate growth," he said. "Hotels in both cities report double-digit increases for transient travelers. San Francisco is such a hot leisure and meetings market that its group room rates increased by nearly ten per cent. Rates are increasing so much that travelers are looking across the Bay Bridge to Oakland and south to San Jose, for more affordable accommodations. Rates in those areas have been rising too."

Meeting planners are also eager to head to New Orleans and the property market is continuing to make a remarkable recovery following Hurricane Katrina. Mr Freitag explained that hotels are now enjoying higher occupancy levels and fees, with rates up by approximately ten per cent.

However, it is New York that is leading the pack when it comes to room-rates for both transient travellers and groups. A room in the city now costs approximately USD 314 (GBP 201.96) a night, which is almost USD 100 higher than group room values. Conversely, Washington DC has witnessed a drop in rates, thanks to a lack of meetings and decreased government travel, Mr Freitag explained to the news provider.

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- Thursday 09 May 2013

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