Holiday lets and the private rental sector

Poverty Copy of report cover
ReportsSeptember 29th, 2022

New research reveals that the holiday let industry is having a dramatic effect on homes for rent

The number of properties used for holiday rentals is increasing across Wales, generating considerable debate about the impact on local housing.  The Bevan Foundation has previously highlighted the shortage of homes for rent for low-income households and the gap between LHA rates and market rents. In some Welsh communities, there is additional pressure on housing availability from the short-term holiday rental sector.

This report provides a unique analysis of holiday rentals advertised by one of the most prominent company operating in the sector, Airbnb. It considers the number of Airbnb properties listed and explores the relationship between Airbnb listings and the local housing stock and Local Housing Allowance levels.  It concludes by considering the current structure of Airbnb hosts.

They key findings of the report are:

  • In May 2022 there were 21,718 listings on Airbnb in Wales, up from 13,800 in 2018.
  • The local authorities with the largest numbers of properties listed on Airbnb are Gwynedd (3,817), Pembrokeshire (3,172) and Powys (1,978). By contrast there are fewer than 100 properties listed on Airbnb in Blaenau Gwent (40) and Torfaen (52).
  • Of the 21,718 listings on Airbnb, 14,343 appear to be suitable for long-term habitation. This accounts for one per cent of Wales’ dwelling stock. The proportion is greatest in Gwynedd (4.6 per cent), Pembrokeshire (3.7 per cent) and Ceredigion (3.1 per cent).
  • Airbnb homes that are suitable for long-term habitation are an even larger proportion of the private rental sector. They account for 31 per cent of Gwynedd’s private rental stock, 20 per cent of Anglesey’s and 19 per cent of Ceredigion’s.
  • In May 2022 the average weekly price for a one-bedroom property on Airbnb was £710.14 and at £2,175.71 for a four-bedroom property.
  • The highest average weekly price for Airbnb properties in Wales is in Cardiff and the lowest is in Merthyr Tydfil.
  • On average, it would take a host letting out their property on Airbnb less than 10 weeks to obtain the same rental income as a landlord letting their property at LHA rates in all Welsh local authorities bar Torfaen.
  • The returns are even quicker for four-bedroom properties. On average it takes less than six weeks to generate a year’s rental income at LHA rates in all local authorities bar Newport and Torfaen.
  • 56 per cent of properties that appear suitable for long-term habitation are managed by Airbnb hosts that have two or more properties listed. This includes management agencies and private individuals.
  • Some agencies manage a large number of properties. The seven agencies that list more than 100 properties that could be used for long-term habitation manage 26 per cent of all Airbnb listings.
  • 17 per cent of properties listed on Airbnb in Wales have a host registered outside of Wales.

Pages: 20

Format: PDF

Language: English

Cost: Free

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