It's a cold, damp day in early January. So let's talk about summer.

Shore rental in Wildwood Crest
Shore rental in Wildwood Crest (Joe Zarroli, Island Realty Group)

If you have any intentions to rent a home at the Jersey Shore in the warmer months — even for a week — you may want to get moving on that.

Realty offices along the Shore say they're already seeing action from interested renters ahead of the 2017 summer stay season. Between the early push, and the countless properties re-booked by renters when they checked out last summer, there's a narrow window of time in which you have a solid shot at getting both the exact kind of summer home you need and the location.

"Just last week we handled a number of reservations," said Denise Conrey, rental administrator for Island Realty Group in North Wildwood. "People are actively booking."

Conrey said the office's rental numbers now are higher than they were at this point in 2016 and the year prior. And that typically predicts a stronger season overall.

The rental market, she said, normally takes off in the weeks following the holidays, but activity has begun earlier and earlier in each of the last few years.

Homes that are only available to rent for the entire season tend to be "snatched up" the quickest in Monmouth and Ocean counties, according to Anthony Newarski, owner of John C. Conover Agency in Asbury Park.

So if you want a spot for the season near the sand, act now.

"The longer you wait, the further away that location's going to be from the beach," Newarski said.

Newarski said January and February are the prime booking months for the full-season renters. Those interested in staying for a week or two can typically find a reasonable match through the beginning of April.

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