At least 2,270 houses and apartments in central Athens were taken off short-term rental platforms between the start of the year and the end of May, boosting the supply of properties for rent by the capital’s residents.
That is the first concrete consequence of the pandemic on the housing market, as it has accelerated the exit of a number of hosts from short-term leasing, especially those who had already experienced a lukewarm year in 2019 due to sliding revenues.
According to figures compiled daily by AirDNA researchers, the number of active property ads on short-term rental platforms stood at 11,338 at the start of 2020, while that figure had dropped to 9,068 by end-May.
The data are confirmed in a similar analysis by property ads website Spitogatos, citing a study by Ernst & Young. The study, published Tuesday, recorded the same trend in the short-term rentals market, and pointed to an increase of 7.1% in the number of ads for long-term rentals within the boundaries of the City of Athens.
That shift has become more evident in districts with a high concentration of properties that until recently were only available via short-term rental sites. Therefore in Petralona there was 44.4% growth in long-term rental ads, while in Neos Cosmos the increase reached 43.6%. In the “historic triangle” in the center of Athens (Plaka, Monastiraki, Acropolis etc) that growth amounted to 30.8%. In Ilissia, Exarchia, Polygono and Pangrati the rise in the number of ads ranged between 11% and 11.8%, and in Gazi-Metaxourgeio and Votanikos supply expanded by 18%.
The pandemic has revised conditions in the short-term rentals market as the average occupancy rate in March was halved to 41% from 82% in September 2019, and bookings slumped 70%. Still, according to the latest AirDNA data, in the week May 18-24, new bookings recorded on Airbnb and HomeAway for stays in Greece rose to 20,037, against 13,054 on May 4-10 and 15,378 on May 11-17. In February weekly bookings exceeded 25,000.