Prague’s Airbnb market is recovering but remains down from pre-Covid levels

Photo: Marco Verch, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

In recent years, Prague has become one of the most popular destinations for travelers using the Airbnb accommodation model.

However, the colocation market has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

While in 2019, tourists to Prague could choose from nearly 13,000 such apartments, the supply has now fallen to around 1,000. Despite the current easing of restrictions, most landlords continue to prefer rentals. long-term.

A small studio on Štěpánská Street, just off Wenceslas Square, is one of the few apartments left on the market during the pandemic, although it was mostly empty.

Matěj Koutný of the company Blahobyty, which manages this and other apartment in the Czech capital, says demand has started to pick up, albeit very slowly.

“We are far from pre-Covid levels, even in terms of price, but something is finally happening in the tourist market. I would say we’re at 25 percent right now.

Hana Marvanová |  Photo: Matěj Pálka, Czech Radio

Despite the decline in the number of short-term rentals via shared accommodation platforms, the Prague City Council is still trying to push for stricter regulations for these services.

A new regulation forcing companies like Airbnb and to provide data on rented apartments, their owners and intermediaries, which was approved in 2020, has not proven to be very effective, admits Hana Marvanová, municipal councilor of the Forces United for Prague.

“There is a problem with both delivery and enforcement. That is why we have joined forces with other European cities to call on the European Commission and the European Parliament to make the obligation enforceable throughout the European Union.

A new modification proposed by the municipal authorities could have a major influence on the shape of the shared housing market. It gives municipalities the power to directly regulate short-term housing.

Photo: Wonjae Lee, Pixabay, CC0

However, legislation is unlikely to be approved before parliamentary elections, says Ms Marvanová.

Matěj Koutný, who is also president of the Czech Association of Private Owners and Residents, disagrees with the proposal, arguing that it could further restrict the supply of accommodation available to tourists.

Mr Koutný said that instead of giving municipal authorities more power in regulating shared hosting services, it would be more effective to focus on enforcing existing rules.

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