London’s short-term rental sector has bounced back more quickly than hotels and serviced apartments since the UK’s re-opening.

Short-term rentals occupancy in the capital went up from 43.1% in May 2020 to 64.1% in May 2021 – a 48.8% increase and a 12.5% rise between April and May this year.

The latest comparable data available across the sectors is to the end of April 2020, showing that hotel occupancy stood at 28%, serviced apartments was 39.9% and short-term rentals outpaced both at 57%.

The study, conducted in partnership with the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA), reveals that average daily rates for the year ending April 2021 increased 9.4% for short-term rentals, but fell by 14.9% for hotels and saw a massive 63.1% drop in serviced apartments. Rates increased for short-term rentals by 16.5% from April to May this year.

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Short-term rentals saw the highest growth (44%) in revenue per available room in the same period, while serviced apartments was up 25.2% and hotels fell by 2.6%.

The month-on-month picture was even brighter for short-term rentals, with a huge 40.8% increase from April to May this year.

The average length of stay for short-term rentals rose from 11.9 days in May 2020 to 13.3 days by December 2020, hitting a high in November of 14.3 days.

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STAA chair Merilee Karr (pictured) says: “Whilst a hole will still exist from the absence of international visitors to London, customer confidence and the strength of the staycation trend are likely to fuel further the London accommodation recovery.

“The ease at which guests can socially distance themselves from others and benefits such as the high standards of cleanliness and safety, should cement short-term rentals as a mainstream option for tourists and holidaymakers.”

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