Want to rent a spot at the Jersey Shore this summer? Good luck finding the accommodations and timing you prefer.

The coronavirus pandemic has made shore towns the safest bet in many people's minds, so demand for rentals is off the charts along the entire coast.

Schlosser Real Estate in Lavallette would typically handle 850 rental agreements over a summer. In the first summer of COVID last year, the office handled about 1,500. And by January of 2021, according to president/broker Andrea Schlosser, her office had already come close to 2020's numbers.

"The most popular weeks are always the last two weeks in July and the first two weeks in August, and we really don't have much of anything left for that time," Schlosser said.

Availability during those months, at any price range, is basically impossible to find on Long Beach Island as well, according to Lisa Musarra, managing broker at Oceanside Realty.

"Demand is far exceeding supply," Musarra said. "We do still have availability in June and September."

Realty offices are seeing many new faces, from New Jersey and beyond, as well as inquiries for longer stays — families who'd typically come to the shore for a week may be interested this time around in four or five weeks, or those who are foregoing international or tropical stays due to COVID-19 concerns can spend the money instead on a lengthy stay in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic or Cape May County.

At Island Realty Group in North Wildwood, about 50% of 2021 rental availability was fully booked before prime renting season even began late last year.

"The good thing is there are new properties coming on the market everyday," broker Joseph Zarroli said.

Zarroli recommends people start searching now for 2022 stays.

Rates for Island Realty properties typically go up by less than 5% on a yearly basis, but because of demand, some property owners are raising rates by 10%.

According to Justin Smith, a realtor at the Richard I. Wood Agency in Manasquan, people willing to rent out their properties can essentially "name their price."

"We need more rental properties. It's probably been the strongest market we've ever had," Smith said.

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

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