PROPERTY

Short-term rentals rebound

Short-term rentals rebound

The local market evolved last year into a leading force for the rebound of demand for short-term rentals in Europe.

According to the latest report by AirDNA, which specializes in the analysis of data from the Airbnb and Vrbo platforms, in 2021 the increase in demand for short-term property rentals (in the form of overnight stays) rose in Greece by 40.7% compared to 2020, bringing the country to the top spot in Europe in terms of growth. It was followed by Russia with a 39.3% annual increase, then Croatia (30%), France (28.7%) and Spain (22.8%).

Across Europe the average increase in demand for short-term rentals last year rose 18.4% from 2020.

Greece also recorded the biggest growth in December, faring even better than the year’s average: The number of overnight stays soared 53.5% from December 2020, ahead of Italy (up 51.9%) and Croatia (49.9%). This is a remarkable feat, highlighting the rise in demand for winter destinations, mainly by Greek guests.

AirDNA data show that guests both from Greece and abroad continue to opt for autonomous houses and apartments leased out through online platforms, as opposed to conventional hotels, as this way they fell more protected from the pandemic.

Of course 2021 did not signal the full recovery of the sector to the levels of the last pre-pandemic year (2019), as comparison showed a 24.2% shortfall. Yet toward the end of the year the picture was even more encouraging, as the fourth quarter proved particularly strong, especially in November, when this and many other markets outperformed November 2019.

The onset of the Omicron variant contained recovery once again in December, with only France and Russia faring better than in December 2019. In Greece the number of overnight stays lagged that of two years earlier by 8%, while in November it had shown a 7.6% advance.

Barring anymore unforeseeable developments on the health front, 2022 should see a full recovery in the sector compared to 2019 across most of Europe. Bookings for the first quarter of the year have already outnumbered those of January-March 2019 by 0.3%.