London's short term rentals outperforming other sectors in the capital

Property Reporter
2nd August 2021

A new study released by international data benchmarking experts, STR, has revealed that London short term rentals had higher levels of occupancy in June than other major accommodation types as average length of stays increased.

The tracking study, conducted in partnership with the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA), measured the three main accommodation sectors, simultaneously comparing how London’s short term rentals, hotels and serviced apartments have performed against each other.

For occupancy, short term rentals were considerably ahead of the others averaging 62.7% for June. Hotels stood at 40.6% and serviced apartments were 39.7%. Year-on-year that’s a 35.7% increase for short-term rentals.

For Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) short term rentals were ahead again averaging £79.20 in June – a 59.5% year-on-year increase - compared to hotels which averaged £40.40 and serviced apartments which averaged £57.80.

Short term rentals saw an increase in the average length of stay from 10.6 days in May to 11.0 days in June. In June last year, the average length of stay in a short term rental was only 9.4 days. There is no comparable data with hotels and serviced apartments for this metric.

Merilee Karr, Chair of the STAA and CEO of UnderTheDoormat, said: “It’s great to see that some of the main business indicators for the short-term rentals sector are looking in much better shape now since the UK domestic tourism and hospitality markets opened up. Whilst there has been a noticeable absence of international visitors to London, the news that fully vaccinated individuals from Europe and the US will be welcomed back to England from 4 August, should help improve the picture for many operators and drive the recovery for the capital’s accommodation.

“It’s interesting to see that not only is occupancy and RevPAR looking good but the average length of stays has steadily increased since April. Guests are taking fewer but longer trips away because short term rentals can offer them a true ‘home-from-home’ experience enabling people to combine work with time away. As the traditional UK holiday destinations fill up, people should turn to see what their cities can offer. Short term rentals enable guests to socially distance themselves from others and offer them the reassurances of high standards of cleanliness and safety. This should appeal to both leisure and business travellers.”

Patrick Mayock, STR’s VP of research & development, said: “Our pilot study has shown that the short-term rentals sector in London has proven to be resilient and a popular choice for visitors to the capital. It will be fascinating to observe what happens to other accommodation types as restrictions loosen and more group and corporate travel return to the market. Our report provides those in all of the accommodation sectors high-value visibility of the metrics behind the performances and trends.”

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