Irish landlords checking out of rental sector for Airbnb

Cantillon: Fears Airbnb is impacting on long-term rental market in Dublin

Browsing Airbnb.  Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Browsing Airbnb. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images


It may be beloved by holidaymakers and homeowners alike, the former for offering the opportunity of a home away from home, and the latter as a means to monetise their property, but the continued rise of Airbnb is not seen in wholly positive terms.

It must also be viewed against a background of a crippling housing shortage, and fears that the platform is taking properties out of the long-term rental market, thus exacerbating the shortage.

As new figures from show, rents in Dublin’s city centre have reached record highs of €1,819 a month, and yet there is still much more money to be made from short-term lets.

While costs – in terms of cleaning expenses etc – are also higher for the short-term sector, the scale of the difference in earnings in the holiday let market far outweigh those to be earned from letting out a property over the long-term .

No surprise there perhaps, but the scale of the earnings may shock some.

To counter the continued growth of the short-term letting sector, the Government has proposed that hosts on Airbnb will need to seek planning permission for a change of purpose to allow them to be let out on a short-term basis. This, it is expected, may dampen the tide of short-term lettings at the expense of the long-term market.

In response, Airbnb has described the move as “a step in the wrong direction towards one of the most restrictive regimes in Europe on how regular people can use their homes”.

Of course, is it still “regular people” who predominantly list their properties on Airbnb?

Globally, it’s now estimated that just two in three “hosts” are individuals, with the number of professional management companies expected to continue to grow, showing just how far the “homesharing” platform has moved away from its origins. One in four Dublin hosts now list multiple properties, according to AirDNA.

Once a template of the so-called “sharing economy”, some would argue this moniker is past its sell-by date.