Airbnb and Vrbo prices in Edinburgh skyrocket by more than 40%

AVERAGE daily rates for Airbnb and Vrbo holiday rentals in Scotland have soared 41% since before the pandemic, the Sunday National can reveal.

The average price per day is now £186.28, up from £131.81 in 2019. AirDNA figures show an 8% increase in prices since last year alone.

Despite high prices, demand has been above pre-pandemic levels since the start of the year. In July 2022, there were 8% more nights booked than in July 2019.

Price increases in Scotland mirror those of the global market, with strong demand for short-term rentals.

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An AirDNA spokeswoman said the price hike was due to increased cleaning protocols following the Covid pandemic, inflation and rising labor costs.

“The increase in average daily rates (ADRs) nationwide has also been partly due to the shift from smaller city center apartments to larger, more rural houses and villas, which traditionally charge more,” she said.

In addition to larger properties being booked to accommodate larger groups traveling together, people had also indulged in so-called “revenge trips” and were willing to pay more for vacations after so many months without vacations during the Covid pandemic, the spokeswoman said.

The figures come as Scottish local authorities prepare to introduce short-term rental licensing schemes, following concerns raised about the impact of short-term rental properties on local communities, including noise, anti-social behavior and the impact on housing supply.

Legislation has been passed by the Scottish Government which means local authorities have until October 1 this year to put licensing systems in place. Existing hosts and operators will have until April 1 next year to apply for a license.

Edinburgh, which has a third of all short-term rentals in Scotland, is also at the forefront of a crackdown on short-term rentals such as Airbnb after the whole city was officially designated as a control zone .

The Scottish Government this month approved plans proposed by Edinburgh City Council for the authority to become Scotland’s first short-term rental control area.

This means that changing the use of an entire dwelling, i.e. not someone’s primary residence, to a short-term rental will require planning permission. It does not apply to roommates or home rentals.

This decision follows a unanimous decision by the planning committee of the council, supported by 85% of respondents to a consultation.

The owners warned the change was ‘totally disproportionate’ and would harm the tourism industry.

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) said that, coupled with the government’s ‘onerous’ licensing scheme, it had the potential to be ‘absolutely devastating’ for the sector in Edinburgh.

‘Our members in the capital, who help generate over £70m every year, will be rightly concerned about what this means for their livelihoods in an already difficult regulatory and economic environment,’ said one door. -word.

Airbnb, one of the world’s leading short-term rental platforms, said tighter regulations could hit Scotland’s economy hard. Research from the firm, which would likely be among the hardest hit by the new rules, suggested it could cost the economy up to £133m and 7,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, prices at holiday centres, campsites, hostels and similar accommodation services across the UK have risen by 23.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

HOWEVER, Hostelling Scotland told the Sunday National that hostels had been “bundled” into the same category and prices had in fact been kept at 2019 rates in a bid to revive the market after the pandemic.

“This is the first year we’ve been able to trade properly after two years of effective closure, so we had no idea how the market was going and the sentiment,” said Graham Sheach of Hostelling Scotland.

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Although the hostels have been ‘really busy’, he said there were concerns about whether people would continue to visit, given the high price of fuel, rising inflation and huge cost increases of life in general.

“We have concerns about that, especially in a year of recovery that we’re in right now,” he said.

“Recruiting staff is also very difficult, but we are not alone – you can see this in all hotel businesses. We are all struggling. The core people we have are excellent and doing a good job, but we have to be able to support them and the teams are lighter than they normally would be.

“On the plus side, we’ve had a positive few months, so we just need to hope people are still coming.”

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