Landlords are exiting the short-lets market and returning their properties to the long-term rental sector as the Coronavirus pandemic deadens holidaymaker demand.

According to consultancy Airdna the picture for the UK and the wider European short-lets market looks ‘bleak’ and it has tracked rising cancellation rates for bookings already made for April.

And as we reported yesterday, the UK’s short-term lets industry body has warned that its members, which include Airbnb, report bookings down by 90%.

This is particularly true in the Edinburgh short-lets market, which has been one of the busiest outside of London but, according to reports this week, has seen 200 properties disappear from Airbnb’s listings in recent days.

The city announced yesterday that it’s five summer festivals, including its fringe and military tatoo festivals which draw thousands to its hotels and Airbnbs, have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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LandlordZONE talked to a well-known lettings agency in the city, Clan Gordon, to find out if reports of a flight to long-term renting in Edinburgh are true.

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Its co-founder Jonathan Gordon says the number of properties advertised to rent has doubled in recent weeks, part of which he believes is attributable to Airbnb landlords trying to find longer-term tenants.

“If you look on Rightmove and search for upmarket one-bedroom apartments near the city centre you’ll spot lots of pictures of cushions – which you don’t tend to get in normal rental images – and which are therefore clearly former short-lets properties,” he says.

The city’s largest lettings firm, CityLets, has 1,700 properties to rent at the moment on its books, some 700 more than it usually does at this time of year, Gordon claims.

“Many will be former Airbnb properties but, if their experience is similar to ours, it’s also students quitting HMOs to return home too,” he says.

Read more about Edinburgh and short-term lets.


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