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One in four homes let through Airbnb in some UK areas

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  • 21/02/2020
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One in four homes let through Airbnb in some UK areas
One in four properties are listed as an Airbnb in some parts of the country, amid concerns the short-term lets are exacerbating the housing crisis in some areas.

 

In Edinburgh Old Town there were 29 active listings for every 100 properties, analysis by The Guardian found.

And in the north-west Skye, there were 25 listings for every 100 properties.

In England the highest rate of Airbnb lets were in Woolacombe, Georgeham and Croyde in Devon, where there were 23 listings for every 100 properties.

The findings underline concerns that short-term lets are taking away from longer-term lets, or permanent homes.

And speaking earlier this month at The Specialist lending Event 2020, HTB sales director of specialist mortgages Alex Upton warned that lenders would be increasingly looking out for landlords breaking the terms of their buy-to-let mortgages by using their properties for Airbnb or other similar services.

 

50k properties lost

Recent research by ARLA Propertymark found that around 50,000 properties are unavailable for long-term tenants, as landlord switch to short term lets.

The number of active listings on Airbnb in the UK increased by a third to 223,000 in 2018 from 168,000 in 2017, the study produced with Capital Economics showed.

Burdensome legislation on landlords renting to long-term tenants were part of the reason driving the change, the trade body said.

Independent councillor in St Ives, Cornwall, Andrew Mitchell told The Guardian he is worried about the lack of regulation on holiday lets through Airbnb.

He said: “All those B&B owners and small hoteliers are having to pay £5,000 to £10,000 for a fire alarm system, £500-£1,000 a year for refuge collection, so there’s a bit of resentment from those operators that there isn’t a level playing field.”

Airbnb rejected the Guardian’s methodology for the analysis.

Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, said: “This data is wrong and the methodology is flawed. It assumes that every listing on Airbnb – including hotel rooms, B+Bs and rooms in homes – is an entire home, which is untrue.

“Nearly half of entire home listings on Airbnb are rented for less than 30 nights a year and more than half of all hosts say they rely on the additional income to help afford their home.

“Airbnb is a good partner to cities and we were the first platform limit how often hosts in London can share their homes. We are also working with cities across the UK on proposals for a host registration system that we will proactively put to the government later this year to help ensure that rules work for everyone.”

The Guardian said the dataset covers entire homes, private rooms and shared rooms, with two-thirds of active listings (67 per cent) for entire apartments.

Private rooms – including a small number of conventional hotel rooms – made up about a third of listings while less than one in 300 ads (0.3 per cent) was for a shared room. The analysis included active listings only. A listing was considered active if the host had updated its availability calendar in the last six months.

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