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Slim pickings for short-term rentals in Venice

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VENICE, FL (WWSB) - If anyone doubts the Suncoast's popularity, perhaps this will change their mind...

"We started the company with three properties… We now have over 500," Helene MacDonald said.

MacDonald is the President of Horse and Chaise rentals and she is very busy. All of their seasonal rentals are booked and now they're looking for more.

"People are very specific about where they want to be. Whether it be golf course or beach. So those are the areas we're going to be concentrating on," MacDonald said.

It's a simple case of supply and demand; more people are scooping up the limited number of rental properties… and that's driving the prices up. The average is $3,500 per month for a minimum of three months… but the good ones go for $6,000.

"One property off the top of my head is a four bedroom, three and a half bath pool home here on the island of Venice," said MacDonald.

Perhaps astonishingly, not only are most rentals booked for this season but Horse and Chaise is 75% booked for next year.

"It's paradise who wouldn't want to be here?" asked Kathy Lehner

Lehner is the newly installed President and CEO of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce.

"People are finding our little hidden treasure. Sharkstooth capital of the world. We have something going on every weekend," Lehner said.

That influx of people may make driving a challenge but it's not exactly a bad thing for small business owners.

"It's not bad having too much business. It will get you a little stressed, so you just plan for it," Lehner said.

If all of this is sounding good to you but you don't want a shabby little four-bedroom home to stay in… well, Horse and Chaise has something for you.

"We do have one that rents for $13,000 a month. But it is a large home on the beach," MacDonald said.