Edinburgh city center has more Airbnbs than anywhere else in Scotland, says Scottish Government report

The Scottish Government is set to back a crackdown on short-term flat rentals in Edinburgh after a consultation showed the true scale of the problem.

More than 1,000 individuals, companies and businesses participated in the independent report, alongside a bespoke data “scraping” from Airbnb.

The results of the consultation are fueling calls for regulation of the short-term rental sector, including licensing and adequate enforcement to improve safety and reduce the impact on the housing market.

Vaults on West Bow in central Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh as a whole is home to 31.38% of all Scottish Airbnbs, which equates to 9,994 short-term rentals in total.

Of all the homes available in the downtown district, data shows that one in six properties is now Airbnb, with more than 2,710 of nearly 16,759 homes listed on the short-term rental website.

Central Edinburgh has more Airbnbs than any other part of Scotland, according to a new report (Picture: Getty Images)

Impact on residents and communities

The report revealed five major impacts of the short-term rental economy in Scotland, with concerns over the impact on residential housing and on residents living near holiday flats.

Evidence was found for reduced housing availability, including affordability, as well as a wider impact on the local economy and public services.

The report also highlighted a negative impact on the quality of life and well-being of residents, as well as increased tourism and changing faces of communities as detrimental aftereffects.

However, local economic benefits from visitors and increased household income for short-term rented hosts were listed as the two main positive impacts.

He said: “Short-term rentals can give people a flexible and cheaper travel option, and have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country.

“However, we know that in some areas, particularly tourist hotspots, a high number of short-term rentals cause problems and often make it harder for people to find accommodation.

“The responses to our consultation confirm support for new controls on the short-term rental of residential properties in these problem areas.

“We will carefully consider the evidence before presenting our proposals later this year. In the meantime, we will continue to work with local authorities to help them balance the unique needs of their communities with broader economic and tourism interests.

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “Airbnb is built on the principles of building communities and spreading the benefits of tourism to local families and businesses.

“While guests using Airbnb make up just 3% of visitors to Scotland, our community boosted the Scottish economy by over £693m last year, generating new and sustainable revenue streams that unlike other other forms of tourism, stay in the communities where customers stay.

“We want to be good partners for Scotland, which is why we recently announced our support for a simple, free, online registration system in communities that need it, extending planning requirements to rentals. professionals hosting more than 140 nights a year and supporting tourism. fee for the communities that so wish.

“Airbnb has long led the way in supporting home sharing rules in Scotland and we want to continue this collaboration, based on our experience working with over 500 governments around the world.”

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