Airbnb grows market share in London despite legislation

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Airbnb has continued to grow its London business despite legislation introduced last year to restrict the number of nights hosts are allowed to share their spaces.

The company’s overnight stay market share in the UK capital increased from 5% in 2016 to 6.9% in 2017, the same year that restrictions were imposed that saw Airbnb limit availability of Greater London listings to 90 nights per calendar year unless hosts confirm they have permission to share their space more frequently.

That’s according to analysis by global property adviser Colliers International and Hotelschool The Hague, which found the hospitality service had also continued to grow in Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid and Paris, despite legislation being introduced in each city.

London is the largest market for overnight Airbnb stays (6,703,337 overnight stays; +45% YOY), just ahead of Paris (6,449,404 overnight stays; +28% YOY), but the UK’s capital is growing at a much faster rate.

These cities are almost three times the market size of Berlin (2,159,999 overnight stays; +24% YOY), Amsterdam (2,080,488 overnight stays; +25% YOY) and Madrid (2,155,362 overnight stays +67% YOY).

Marc Finney, head of hotels and resorts consulting at Colliers International, commented: “In all cities, it’s clear that Airbnb is here to stay and has become a mature alternative for traditional hotels. With Airbnb, guests have more options to choose from and it’s also a cheaper alternative to hotels.”

But despite the growth of Airbnb, Finney said London hotels continued to perform.

“As the scale grows, the lack of regulation becomes a greater concern to many, and rightly so,” he said. “It is interesting though that despite the growth, we’re seeing relatively little negative impact on the hotel sector with London hotels achieving similar results to last year.

“In a lot of ways, Airbnb is a different product offer, and one that now benefits from better visibility. Despite its growing influence, we’re still finding strong business cases for proposed hotels in our development advisory work.”

Japan has become the latest country to introduce stricter legislation on Airbnb. Coming into effect on Friday 15 June, the new rules require hosts to register their accommodation with local government, which will conduct fire and safety checks. The new regulations will also limit rentals to 180 days per year.

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