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Slump in summer property rental prices in US

Landlords in the country's popular vacation spots are cutting their asking prices. In parts of Cape Cod, gray-shingled, four bedroom homes that last year went for $15,000 a week are now being advertised at 15% to 20% less. Five bedroom lodges on the edge of Yellowstone National Park are available for 20% below last year's prices.

Whereas a year ago property owners might have laughed at being offered such prices now they just accept them according to Carol Shore, rental manager for Coldwell Banker Landmark in Martha's Vineyard. 'The offers are all over the place,' she confirmed.

In East Hampton, New York state, real estate developer Barry Brown said some prices are down 20% on last year. Location is still important, he points out. The biggest bargains in the Hamptons, for example, are to be found north of the highway where the properties are smaller and closer together.

Having said that he still has a six-bedroom, nine bathroom property south of the highway within easy walking distance to the town and the beach which at $190,000 per month is almost 20% down on what he got last year.

The slowdown is also affecting popular vacation areas in the mountains. In Lake Tahoe ski property rentals in the winter were down 15% and summer volume looks to be down 20%, according to Marni Coyle, of Buckingham Properties in South Lake Tahoe.

In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, summer rental prices have not fallen much but the result is that people are not booking. 'People aren't reserving like they were a year ago,' Theodore Shoaf, a reservation agent at Rendezvous Mountain Rentals.

Renters are also looking at shorter stays and increased amenities. They may even get a few unusual perks thrown in. 'I had one gentleman offer his Ferrari and also his Jeep to go four-wheeling on the beach,' said Scott Strough, president of Strough Real Estate Associates in Bridgehampton, New York state.

'We've become much more last-minute. Typically all the good properties are gone before April 1st but that hasn't happened this year,' explained Sean Smith, rental manager at William Raveis, a Cape Cod broker.