Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bad for Airbnb, Good for Renters,

Covid-19 is proving very bad news for Airbnb hosts. However Airbnb's loss may be good for renters. There are reports from around the world that Airbnb hosts are facing a huge hit to their incomes. Over recent years the number of Airbnb properties has been growing & growing in cities and tourist hot-spots around the world. Now, thanks to Covid-19 and the collapse in tourism, Airbnb hosts are facing a massive drop in custom.

Airbnb themselves have also upset many of their hosts around the world by over-riding their usual refund policy in response to the coronavirus epidemic, allowing travelers to cancel their Airbnb reservations and receive full refunds. In other words hosts are having to bear the majority of the financial burden of cancellations by having to reimburse their customers.

In response many Airbnb hosts appear to be putting their properties back onto the rental market. For example in Dublin, according to property website Daft.ie, there has been an increase of 64% of new rental properties across the city in March. An increase they believe which is caused mainly by the collapse of the short-term holiday letting market. This glut of new rental properties could be good news for renters, who now appear to be in a good position to find properties and negotiate competitive rents.

The situation seems to be similar in many cities around the world. Vice reports that there has been a jump in new properties to the rental market in Toronto. There appears to be plenty of anecdotal evidence that during the last two weeks lots of other cities around the world have seen a sudden increase in the number of rental properties being advertised.

In response to the collapse in tourism and the short-term rental market Airbnb has written to the US Congress to ask that any economic relief packages put in place by the government includes,
"measures to financially support American short-term rental operators and travel industry solo-entrepreneurs and small businesses during this time of crisis and recovery."

It seems that a lot of Airbnb hosts are not waiting for possible government economic relief and have already turned to the longer term rental market instead. This can be only good news for those who are looking to rent a property.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good for society as a whole in many places. In Southern California there is a shortage of housing and AirBnB is part of the problem. Putting homes and apartments back into long-term rental is also good for the neighborhoods that they are in. Fewer misparked cars, fewer loud parties, fewer garbage cans left out on the street. I'm sure this list can be added to.

I speak from experience as we have an illegal short term rental next door. Hasn't been bad enough to turn them in, but the housing shortage is real and it doesn't affect me directly.

PS reCAPTHA is painful. When we will come up with a better way to avoid bots?