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Some Summer Rentals Hurt By Sandy Damaged Neighbors

While many towns are doing all they can to be ready for the summer tourism season, some are finding their seasonal rentals being affected by neighboring towns still recovering from Sandy.

Mario Tama, Getty Images

While normally the 59-mile coast of the Jersey Shore is completely open for business, Superstorm Sandy has created a patchwork of towns in varying stage of repair. While most towns are near completion for summer, several are still completely destroyed.

Tim O’Shea, realtor for Lavallette and Ortley based Birchler Realtor, says the problem is many tourists are painting the shore with “broad brush strokes.”

Birchler notes the office location in Lavallette and Ortley are prime examples, one town is affecting reservations because of perception.

“In Lavallette, the boardwalk is being rebuilt as we speak and the homes are fine. In Ortley barely any work has been done on the board walk and many of the homes have been washed away or remain destroyed on private property.”

Because of Ortely Beach, O’Shea says summer rentals in Lavallette are down over 50 percent.

O’Shea says many tourists are heading further south to Long Beach Island, as well as Atlantic and Cape May Counties, which suffered significantly less from Sandy. Some of the problems for convincing communities to visit towns adjacent to wrecked towns is there are still many unanswerable questions.

“What’s the quality of air going to be as they knock houses down, are the beaches going to be clear, can you swim in the water, will their be construction from the early mornings till late at night.”

He says the towns that suffered the most damage are Ortley Beach, Mantoloking, and parts of Brick’s beach.

Reuters reports instances of prices increasing as landlords with undamaged homes try to capitalize on the availability, but O’Shea says much of that will drop deeper into the summer season.

“Price points that we have will tend to drop as we get deeper into the season and places aren’t renting. That’s typically how it works.”

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