Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, so many housing options

While early media reports indicated that hotels in D.C. were sold out, and many D.C. residents were turning a quick buck by renting their homes out on Craigslist, the story this week is a different one. There are still 627 hotel rooms available in D.C., and over 12,000 in the metropolitan area—a 400-mile radius of the city—as of Jan. 7, according to D.C.’s official tourism organization Destination, D.C.

And the Washington Post is reporting that the Craigslist market has gone bust:

Those who listed their properties within a week or two of Obama's Nov. 4 election victory were able to score deals, but those who jumped on the bandwagon after that have largely been left without offers...

Since word spread of get-rich-quick glory, homeowners flocked to online sites, flooding the market with hundreds of properties seeking upward of $10,000 for the week. But supply has far outpaced demand, said real estate agents and creators of Web sites devoted to brokering deals. This week, with the holidays over, demand has picked up slightly, the brokers said, but most people are not likely to find renters.

Like the tour operators with whom I've spoken in New York, and across the country, the enthusiasm has faded. Like the homeowners who are unable to rent their apartments, many bus renters have canceled or scaled down their trips in response to a lack of demand. Though interest has picked up this week, as procrastinators finally focus on getting to D.C. for the Inauguration, the number of attendees will still likely be under two million (which is still an impressive number).

For those who are into alternate types of housing, the Washington Examiner has found a hotel in Maryland with vacancies, but there's a catch:

Pine Tree Associates Nudist Resort, located outside Annapolis, is offering to rent out rooms to non-nudists, but you may still need to be comfortable walking around in your birthday suit. "Yes, we are renting rooms," said manager Pat Sokoloski. "But as some point you have to get nude."

Those who opt to stay at Pine Tree will have to keep their Obama excitement under control.

Inaugural Rentals Begging For Takers [Washington Post]
A buff-et of housing options at Maryland resort [Washington Examiner]

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