The rise of AirBnB holiday lets in Edinburgh has attracted a huge amount of media interest over the last few years and had a significant impact on the residential communities in and around Edinburgh’s City Centre. The number of property listings on AirBnB in Edinburgh is at the level of one listing for every 42 Edinburgh residents.

Comparing this to London’s one listing for every 112 residents and you get an idea of the impact of so much of Edinburgh’s housing being reserved for tourists and sitting vacant for so much of the year. Campaign groups and politicians are working to stop the growth of holiday lets in Edinburgh and bring many of these 12,000 listed properties back into residential use. The population of Edinburgh is growing and the pressure on the housing market is severe from homeowners, potential first-time-buyers and tenants.

Listings are no longer on the rise

The most recent statistics show that the number of AirBnB listing in Edinburgh has plateaued (see chart below) which is good news for anyone worried about the pressure on the housing market in Edinburgh. The slowdown in growth of AirBnB listings will have been brought about by steps that Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government are taking around legislating and licensing holiday lets as well as market forces having an impact as the market has reached a probable saturation point. Most AirBnB hosts can no longer achieve the high levels of occupancy throughout the year and premium rent levels due to tourists to Edinburgh having greater choice of apartments for rent. More is expected of hosts and the standard of accomodation for less money as a result of supply catching up with and surpassing the demand from visitors.

Property owners who have made good financial returns using AirBnB, or have recently become hosts with a view to running their holiday lets as a mini-business, are finding it is not financially worthwhile or worth the service demands (read hassle) that comes with holiday letting. Assuming the property is not also their home, owners have two choices to get out of holiday letting; sell the property or rent it on the long-term market.

Long-term letting instead

In long-term letting, the financial returns are much more predictable and increasingly higher compared to holiday-letting. Long-term letting also helps Edinburgh’s struggling communities as the property will be lived in by Edinburgh residents who make the property their home. Property owners still benefit from rental income and long-term capital growth while providing a valuable resource to the under-supplied private rented sector.
Switching from holiday letting to long-term letting is easy and the costs are lower. If you would like to talk through the simple steps involved, drop us a line and we can talk you through it.