‘People are being sick of cooped up in general’: Get ready to pay more for a rental at the shore

It's not too late yet to book a week or two at the beach, but get ready to pay more -- the rental market is booming at the Jersey Shore. 
It’s a supply-and-demand issue. Demand is so high and supply is so limited that prices are up at least 20% for shore rentals. 
Realtors say the staycation is back this summer due to rising gas prices and quarantine restrictions -- all creating a perfect storm for a Jersey Shore rental boom.
“We were booked out before December this year for the whole summer, including June, which we never book out,” says landlord Alisa Berrios.
Berrios is now in her fifth year renting out a Seaside Park home, and she says she's never seen demand like this. 
“People are trying to do staycations more, and it's a really good vacation and a safe vacation,” says Berrios. “They really don't want to get hotels. They want their own little domicile."
Her VRBO listing attracted renters this season from as far away as Nevada. Realtor James Ward says it's all due to a combination of factors. Last year's COVID-19 cancellations, rebookings, ongoing restrictions and a snowy winter all created a demand outpacing supply.  
“People are being sick of cooped up in general,” says Ward, with Keller Williams Realty Ocean Living. “The weather certainly added to that. What we are seeing is that the first hint of warm weather, people start thinking about the beach, where they might want to go. Rising gas prices, issues if you leave the state and quarantine when you come back. People are opting for homes for themselves and their families and friends.”
Berrios says she kept her rates the same on her Seaside Park home because she understands the struggles many families still face who simply want to get away.