COVID-19 pushes flats from Airbnb to the long-term rental market

This week, the Arena Housing Project published its first piece of curation journalism. The text gives an overview of how Airbnb investors are moving their flats to the long-term rental market – and lets you take the next step in the research and reporting.

As the global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought tourism and travelling to a halt, nice-looking flats that previously were only offered at daily rates on platforms like Airbnb have been appearing as long-term rentals in cities across Europe.

Housing watchers, however, assume those flats will go back to the tourism market as soon as people can travel again.

For critics of tourist rental platforms, this is further proof that the likes of Airbnb are turning housing into an investment object: when homes become a financial asset to exploit for profit rather than a public good everybody should have access to.

This move of Airbnb-listed flats to the long-term market was reported almost in a city-by-city basis (Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Madrid and Barcelona…), so we at the Arena Housing Project have put together an overview of the phenomenon, which has just been published by the EUobserver.

This provides journalists with research and reporting opportunities:

    • Is this phenomenon happening in your city?
    • Is it affecting rental prices in the long-term market?
    • Who are the landlords moving flats from Airbnb to the long-term market? Big and corporate landlords? Small landlords? Both?
    • Who is keeping track of these properties to see what happens when travelling and tourism are back?

This article about Airbnb-listed flats moving to the long-term rental market is part of our effort to track and document housing developments during these critical times, and to provide an overview of them from a European and transnational point of view.

That’s also why we are managing two open databases and an interactive map compiling announcements and measures about housing taken by local and national governments across Europe due to the coronavirus crisis.

You can see more on the Arena Housing Project resources page.

Our homes have become the main line of defence against the spread of the novel coronavirus, so let’s keep watching what happens to housing as we head into post-pandemic times.