Edinburgh among the most expensive cities on Airbnb

Carrie Maginn in her apartment. She has been both an Airbnb host and guest. Photo: Toby Williams

A study, by Airbnb data analytics firm AirDNA.co, has found Scotland’s capital to be the ninth most expensive in the world, with an average list price of $144 (£95) per night for an entire home.

Airbnb, which was set up to allow people to rent spare rooms in their home – or even their entire property – while they travel or live temporarily elsewhere, has become a major site in recent years. vacation location.

The report showed nearly two-thirds of listings globally are now for whole houses, with another third of available properties offering a spare bedroom in a house or apartment, with very few listings available for shared rooms .

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In Edinburgh, the proportion of whole properties is slightly lower, at 46.9%, but shared rooms account for less than 1% of all listings.

Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Center for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “A lot of people want to stay in Edinburgh – particularly at certain times of the year – so the rate is rising. It’s good for the city and good for Scotland as a whole that people want to visit and spend money.

He added: “Airbnb is a phenomenon that is quite disruptive to the traditional bed and breakfast and guesthouse market. It really upset the apple basket and the effects are still happening. Of course, if good value accommodation is on offer and people want to stay there, that is only good for the consumer.

The report found that the cost of an entire property is $157 on average, while a bedroom in an apartment typically costs around $76. A total of 4,806 properties are listed for Edinburgh, according to AirDNA, which was created by Scott Shatford, an Airbnb host who originally wrote a ‘playbook’ on how other hosts can get the most out of their listing. , before turning his idea into a website that offers data on specific markets to web hosts.

“Airbnb is no longer the alternative to couch-surfing. The growth rates for whole homes far exceed those for shared spaces,” Shatford said.

In Glasgow, the only other Scottish city analyzed by AirDNA and where Airbnb saw a surge in listings ahead of last year’s Commonwealth Games, just 854 properties are listed, with an entire home marketed for an average of 151 $ per night. The figure is only slightly lower than in Edinburgh – but a private room, which accounts for nearly half of all listed properties in Scotland’s biggest city, typically costs just $62.

London is the most expensive city in the world to rent with Airbnb, according to the report, with an average daily rate of $209. It is closely followed by Dubai and the resort town of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, which charge an average of $192 and $184 respectively.

Shatford added: “Some surprising cities that make the list are Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Cartagena, Colombia, which have relatively cheap real estate. The hosts there make a fortune.

Meanwhile, the study found that while the vast majority of Airbnb properties in Edinburgh offer Wi-Fi as standard equipment, 79% have a washing machine or dryer and 20% have cable TV, almost none have gyms, pools, or air. air conditioning – a contrast to Los Angeles, where nearly three quarters have air conditioning and one in five have a swimming pool available to guests.

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