Jersey Shore rental properties booking fast for summer 2016
It may be slim pickings if you wait to grab a rental property along the Jersey Shore this summer.
From exit 98 to exit 4, realtors claim the rental business has been booming so far this year, in anticipation of the warm months ahead.
In some spots along the coast, inventory is all but gone.
"We're actually pretty much fully booked for the whole summer," said Justin Smith of Richard I. Wood Agency in Manasquan.
Mary Allen Realty on Long Beach Island has seen a huge improvement in rental numbers since Sandy in October 2012.
Compared to the same date in 2013, their lease count for the summer season is up more than 41 percent right now, and the gross dollar amount is up 64 percent.
"I wouldn't wait too long; places are booking up, but certainly we can still accommodate anybody and any budget," said Randy Sinor of Mary Allen Realty.
This year's current count is also up from last year's numbers.
Seaside Realty has no hard numbers on the season just yet, but according to broker Mike Loundy, the phones are active and business is encouraging.
Inventory is still down slightly from Superstorm Sandy, Loundy said, and Seaside Heights is still battling a perception problem among folks who are unfamiliar with the area.
"The fact is we have been fully functional for three years now," he said.
Inventory is also running low for Island Realty Group, which handles the Wildwoods and Diamond Beach.
According to rental manager Denise Conrey, the rental push started particularly early this year, and it's been strong ever since.
"We stayed busy straight through the fall, through the holidays," she said. "There's still some availability, but it might not be as easy to say, 'Bam, this is what I want.'"
Conrey is in the process of soliciting for new rental listings to add to the area's inventory.