Barcelona Airbnb host ‘runs rentals worth £33,000 a day’ | Cities
An Airbnb “host” manages a portfolio of 204 apartments at Barcelona worth €37,721 (£33,369) a day in rental income during peak season, a data organization set up to investigate the tourist apartment industry in Spain has discovered.
The 10 largest hosts in the Spanish city manage 996 apartments between them, while another 666 manage five or more, and 3,633 host between two and four, according to DataHippo’s report. In total, the rent for the licensed holiday apartments rented via Airbnb and other platforms amount to 1.5 million euros per day.
The findings appear to contradict the “sharing economy” image projected by Airbnb and others in the online apartment market and come as city officials grapple with growing evidence that the massive increase in tourist apartments is making drive up rents and residents.
Prior to the introduction of a moratorium in April 2014, Barcelona city authorities granted an unlimited number of vacation rental licenses at €230 each, creating what was described as a real estate gold rush. Owners simply had to notify the local authority of the change in use of their property in order to obtain a license. These same licenses now have a market value of around €80,000 each.
Responding to DataHippo’s findings, Airbnb said that “the vast majority of hosts in Barcelona are ordinary people and 76% of hosts only have one complete listing of homes. Only 4% have more than 10 listings.
Andreu Castellano, director of communications at Airbnb, argued that DataHippo’s findings showed Barcelona City Council needed to change its rules.
“While the vast majority of hosts are regular residents, more than 80% of lodging licenses are held by large hotels and real estate agents,” Castellano said. “We firmly believe that everyone should benefit from visitors to Barcelona – not just hotels – and are making good progress with policy makers on clear and modern rules to help local families share their homes.”
Airbnb has long complained that the ban on new licenses has encouraged speculation, even if it’s the opposite of what was intended.
“The regulations in Catalonia and Barcelona are looked at exclusively from the point of view of the professional… they don’t take into account the fact that people can offer space in their own homes,” said Castellano.
Abigail Long of AirDNA, an independent analytics firm that collects short-term rental data around the world, said DataHippo’s findings only tell half the story.
“These ‘multi-listing’ Airbnb hosts are not individuals making tens of thousands of dollars in profit per month,” Long said. “These are Vacation Rental Management (VRM) companies that employ a team of staff to manage a portfolio of properties owned by their clients. VRMs typically represent 10% to 30% of the revenue generated by a booking site.
“Airbnb is rapidly evolving from an ‘alternative’ lodging platform for budget millennials to a marketing and reservations platform rivaling the biggest players in the hospitality industry. trip,” Long said.
“Many of the new listings currently being added to Airbnb are for bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, and very high-end properties, which would also partly explain the fact that a single host manages multiple listings.”