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UK’s most profitable city to be an Airbnb landlord revealed

Renting out a property as a short-term let or holiday home has proved extremely profitable for some property investors, and a combination of changes to buy-to-let tax and the rise of Airbnb and rivals has made it increasingly popular. But where in the UK is the best place to invest? 

Vanquis Bank analysed data across 21 of the UK’s biggest cities, calculating the average amount homeowners could make listing their spare room on Airbnb or renting it out permanently.

Out of the 21 cities assessed, Airbnb worked out as the more profitable option in seven of them. 


Homeowners in Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle could make more money listing their spare room on Airbnb one night per week, than if they rented it out full-time.

Cardiff ranked as the most profitable city for Airbnb, with homeowners earning 86% more via Airbnb than traditional renting. 

Hosting a room on Airbnb for 52 nights a year in Cardiff would generate approximately £6,344, compared to an average rental income of just £3,408.

Belfast was the second most profitable city for Airbnb, with hosts earning approximately £4,108 on Airbnb - 39% more than the average rental income of £2,964.

Meanwhile, Cambridge came out as the least profitable city for Airbnb. Homeowners could expect to earn just £3,744 per year on Airbnb, 35% less than the average rental income of £5,772.

London came out as the best city for renting, with homeowners able to make £8,126 per year, compared to just £6,084 via Airbnb.

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Poll: Would you ever consider listing a rental property on Airbnb?


  • Mark Wilson

    Doubt the data, but regardless that was in a different era. So what?

  • icon

    This is why rents won't plummet as Airbnb is a real alternative for most high quality properties.

    • 30 July 2020 16:45 PM

    AirBnB is based mostly on fraudulent usage of properties.

    Councils have seen how there has been a surge of AirBnB properties return to the long term lettings market as CV19 collapsed the AirBnB market.

    I predict that every Council will require that any AirBnB listing will require a licence..

    This will give the Council opportunity to verify that the lister isn't engaged in fraudulent activity.

    There are very few circumstances where AirBnB is legal.

    All Councils need to do to eradicate most AirBnB listings is to have the lister provide written proof that the following give permission for AirBnB at the property.


    Very few AirBnB listers will be compliant with the above.
    LL will be forced to remain in long term lettings which for many LL won't be viable.
    A lot caused by S24 which is why many LL used AirBnB.

    There are clearly still far too many letting properties.
    It would make financial sense to flog some off to FTB especially the ones that would cost a lot in time and inconvenience in achieving EPC C status.
    Get rid of those lemon properties now and de-risk.

    Councils do not wish to see residential properties used for AirBnB.
    There are more than enough businesses able to supply accommodation which of course pay vast amounts of business rates.

    Whatever way you look at it AirBnB is of great detriment to Councils.
    They will therefore do their best to restrict or eradicate what is mostly a fraudulent enterprise.

    The Scottish Govt has been very successful in clamping down on AirBnB though they still have much to do to control the listings as they still are occurring in significant numbers.
    It really won't be that difficult to identify all the fraudulent listings.


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