Grabbing an ideal temporary place to live in the offseason is a harder task than usual along the Jersey Shore this year, according to real estate professionals in the area.

There is greater demand for winter rentals up and down the coast for a number of reasons, they say — most are directly connected to the coronavirus pandemic.

And many of the newcomers to the winter rental market appear to be less interested in a specific town or city — they just want something comfortable for a few a months, anywhere along the shore.

"They're looking from the Toms River area all the way up to Belmar, Long Branch," said George Coffenberg, broker/owner of Preferred Properties Real Estate.

The new clientele aren't just folks who want to enjoy a shoreline view while being able to work remotely. Many are in the middle of a strategic process that includes cashing in on the hot housing market and eventually moving into another home.

"People have sold their homes and need short-term rentals to kind of get settled and figure out where they're going to buy," Coffenberg said.

Since bidding wars on available listings are still occurring, Coffenberg said, recent sellers are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for things to calm down before buying again.

Unlike summer renters, folks who rent in the winter typically have to prove a solid financial history before a deal is made, as the leases are generally handled on a monthly basis.

"Typically, you're going to pay monthly what it would be for a week in the summer," said Mike Loundy, broker of SeasideRealtyNJ.com.

Loundy noted there's a yearly crowd interested in winter rentals along the shore — some folks need to find a place to stay due to local work projects, for example.

"There's beautiful accommodations available now that did not exist in the past, so we're seeing it draw in people that we would not normally have seen," Loundy said.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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