Olympic rental market swamped with homes
Thousands of homeowners vying for Games tourists
The Olympic dream for many in B.C.'s Lower Mainland has little to do with sporting events or who makes it to the podium. They're hoping to rake in the gold by renting out their homes to tourists coming to the 2010 Games.
But it's not working out that way for everyone trying to take advantage of the opportunity. It appears the Olympic rental market has slowed to a crawl.
"There was that big buzz about people renting out their homes and making a killing on it," said Vancouver resident Tanya Peters.
Peters and Tyler Jones planned to get married in Costa Rica during the Games. Their vision was to rent out their house to Olympic visitors to help pay for the wedding. But so far, they have no takers, and now regret not hopping on the gravy train earlier.
"I know several people who rented out and did make a lot of money but they rented out a year ago," Peters said.
Corporations, teams and media outlets that needed to book homes in advance for big prices appear to have already made their bookings.
Jones and Peters have had their home listed on various websites since July. They have dropped their price to $3,000 for two weeks from $5,000.
The explanation might be in the simple economics of the situation: There are more people who want to make big money than there are who want to spend it.
Thousands of homes for rent
"When the supply is larger than the demand, it's hard to maintain those price levels," said Bruce Fougner, president of Lloyds Travel Group in Vancouver.
Fougner estimated there were at least 6,000 homeowners in and around Metro Vancouver looking for Olympic renters right now. The majority of new rental listings were people wanting to get away, he said.
Jones and Peters say they are not giving up on their Olympic dream. And they plan to be on the beach in Costa Rica in February, no matter what.
But if they have to lower their price much further, it wouldn't cover the costs of additional insurance, fitting their home with extra beds and putting their valuables in storage, they said.
"We're not banking on it happening. But if it happens, that would be great," Peters said.