The upcoming US Open golf tournament in Brookline has pushed the cost of short-term rentals in surrounding neighborhoods through the roof.
Week-long stays in fully-furnished five- and six-bedroom homes have been listed for anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 in some of the Boston area’s most affluent neighborhoods, such as Chestnut Hill, Newton, and Wellesley.
“It’s getting out of hand,” said Ilya Cobi, a real estate agent with William Raveis.
The majority of high-end home listings for the tournament, which takes place June 16-19 (practice rounds start Monday), have proliferated on one website, Accommodation for the Event, which specializes in rentals for spectators at high-profile golf tournaments. The site has made headlines before for advertising sky-high rental prices at contests in Ireland and England.
Homeowners in the area have been hoping to cash in on the allure of The Country Club, the venerable institution that will play host to next week’s tournament. Golf fans with enough cash to afford tickets to the US Open — one of the four annual major tournaments that feature the world’s best players — must be willing to shell out for a nice place to stay, they figured.
As it turns out, some homeowners may have miscalculated.
“Not a single offer,” said Debra Mayfield, who listed her three-bedroom Brookline home at $30,000 for the week of the tournament. “We set our price too high.”
By all accounts, her home would be a near-perfect refuge for a small group staying in town. It offers a deck with a propane grill, a fenced yard perfect for dogs, and it’s walking distance from the course. She listed her home after seeing stories in the news of residents doing something similar, thinking it could be a good excuse to escape to her family’s second home in New Hampshire and avoid the chaos the tournament promises to bring to Brookline.
What Mayfield and other residents have found is that most fans aren’t interested in paying tens of thousands for a rental. Or they’ve already found a place to stay. Last weekend, she lowered the price to $1,500 a night.
“The owners get intrigued by the opportunity to make some extra money,” said Cobi, who has listed a client’s Newton home at $30,000 for the week. “And there’s very little effort involved. They don’t have much to lose in a situation like this.”
Prices are high, he said, because the market is already hot and short-term rentals that don’t tie a tenant to a lease are in high demand. Plus, he said, many of the homes are valued at millions of dollars.
Cobi said that hotel and Airbnb costs for the week are, while still pricey, much lower than those on the site, most ranging between $5,000 and $20,000 for seven days.
At $30,000 for the week, Mayfield’s initial price was on the low end of the spectrum for the site.
One rental, “a spectacular 9700 square foot… home [that] will take your breath away,” topped the listings at $100,000 for the week. The six-bedroom home, located about 7 miles from the course in Wellesley, promises a grand entrance hall with a sweeping staircase, a “fireplaced living room,” a white gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, and a bluestone patio, among other high-end amenities. A representative for the property did not return a request for comment.
Meera Grover, who listed her five-bedroom Brookline home for $70,000, has also struggled to find any takers. Only her neighbor, who asked $30,000 for his home that is smaller and closer to the course, has had luck.
“We just asked for way too much,” she said. “Though honestly, maybe its easier this way. We just renovated this house. Its brand new, and I don’t want anyone to screw it up.”