Lockdown sees rental listings rise as demand crashes for Airbnb

Property Reporter
22nd June 2020
To Let 555

According to newly released figures, demand for Airbnb accommodation has slumped, resulting in rental listings surging across UK cities.

The data reveals that London has seen an average 112% increase in available properties, compared with the same period last year.

One and two bedroomed properties witnessed the largest leap is listings, 132% and 105% respectively in mid-March. Rightmove have also recorded a jump in rental listings in Central London during the lockdown, while tourist cities such as Bath have seen a rise of 78%, followed by Edinburgh (62%) and Brighton (55%).

While the lockdown is being lifted for the short-term let sector on July 4 2020, Airbnb and other platforms face rigorous cleaning protocols to conform with UK government guidance.

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group, comments: “Analysis by the Guardian has identified that in some parts of the UK, there is an Airbnb listing for every four homes.

"The highest incidence of Airbnbs was in Edinburgh Old Town, where there were 29 active listings for every 100 properties. In one area of the Lake District: Windermere North, Ambleside and Langdales, there were 19 listings per 100 properties.

“This huge growth of online holiday lettings is depriving communities of much-needed homes, especially in areas where there is a large waiting list for accommodation. This problem is mainly prevalent in large cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham. Recent figures from the BBC's Housing Briefing estimate that we have built 1.2 million fewer homes than we should have and the need for more homes is increasing. The calculations suggest it will take at least 15 years at current building rates to close the gap, and that not enough of what is being built is affordable.

“We are seeing increasing tenant demand for property in the North West, particularly for professional and student accommodation. HMOs in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton have become very popular with investors, as they can acquire a high quality, three-bed HMO which houses three students, from £120,000 upwards.

“The return on investment is very attractive too, with 13% (8% cash rental and 5% capital growth). The gross rent will be between £368-500 pcm per room. Larger rooms, open plan living and kitchen areas, ensuites, TVs, unlimited broadband, premium kitchen appliances and furnishings are the type of features that help to generate a high yielding HMO.”

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