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Airbnb’s presence ‘significant’ in London

Airbnb, the private room rental service, represents a ‘significant’ and growing share of the accommodations market in London.

New research from STR Global estimated that with 11,000 Airbnb “competitive” listings in London compared with some 134,000 hotel rooms in the London boroughs, the former has roughly an 8% share of the market.

When looking at the overall number of hotel rooms and Airbnb listings by borough, STR said Westminster holds 27% of all London hotel rooms and 17% of all Airbnb listings.

The three largest boroughs (Westminster, Camden, and Kensington and Chelsea) combine to hold 51% of London’s hotel supply and 38% of Airbnb’s listings. Notably, 11% of Airbnb’s London listings were found to be in Hackney, while only 1% of hotels reside in the borough.

In terms of listing share by borough, the research found the borough of Lewisham holds the largest share of Airbnb listings, with 49% of Airbnb listings and 51% of hotel rooms.

Hackney also has a large portion of Airbnb listings at 42% of all rooms in the borough. In 20 of the 33 London boroughs, the ratio of Airbnb units to hotel rooms is around or less than 5%.

In 22 of the 25 boroughs, with ‘sufficient rate information’, the average Airbnb rate is higher than the hotel average daily rate. However, the hotel average daily rate (ADR) in Westminster is £42 higher than the Airbnb average rate.

Hackney and Lambeth, the other two boroughs with higher hotels rates, show hotel ADRs of £16 more than the Airbnb average listing.

The majority of hotel rooms and Airbnb listings fell into the £100 to £199 price range with 45,000 hotel rooms (46% of all hotel rooms) and 5,800 Airbnb listings (52% of all Airbnb listings).

Meanwhile, Airbnb’s largest share of total accommodations fell in the £300 to £399 price range with 12% of all listings. Airbnb’s share of total accommodations was reduced to 3% for the less than £50 and more than £500 price brackets.

Elizabeth Winkle, STR Global managing director, said: “Across Europe, alternative accommodations are not a new phenomenon; pensions, pub accommodation, hostels and family stays have long existed.

“What has changed is the distribution platform providing an accommodation owner the means to easily and seamlessly list and let their property (or properties) connect to guests. Airbnb is one of the most recognisable of these ‘peer-to-peer’ or ‘rental-by-owner’ companies, and its inventory continues to increase across the globe.”

The figures from STR global were based on data from Inside Airbnb which, as of 3 September 2015, listed 25,361 Airbnb units in London, 52.6% of which were entire home/apartment units. The remaining Airbnb inventory in the market comprised 45.8% private room and 1.6% shared room.

STR narrowed this figure down to 11,000 listings which it said were ‘competitive’ with traditional hotel rooms.

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