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Airbnb reveals income and demographics of landlord hosts

Airbnb has released new figures showing that the typical host landlord makes a modest £5,500 a year by sharing their space on the platform. 

While government, local authorities and activists have been strident in their criticism of short lets, Airbnb has consistently emphasised that in the UK its landlords typically rely on this income to help household budgets during the cost of living crisis.

The platform says the £5,500 is the equivalent to almost two months’ additional pay for the median UK household. 


Airbnb surveyed almost 4,400 landlord hosts during 2023 and found that almost a third chose to short let their properties or rooms because of the need to make ends meet. And almost 40 per cent said the income from the short letting allowed them to stay in their homes. 

Nearly a third of UK host landlords are retired, and one in five work in education, health and social care or hospitality. Over nine in 10 make recommendations to their guests of local businesses to visit. 

A recent study by economics consultancy BIGGAR found that spending by guests and Hosts on Airbnb boosted the UK economy by £2.9 billion and supported over 100,000 jobs across the UK in 2022/3.

“As living costs continue to bite, hosting on Airbnb is an economic lifeline that is helping people to pay their bills and afford the things that are important to them. When holidaymakers make the decision to book an Airbnb, it’s local families, businesses and communities that benefit. We are proud of the role our guests play in helping everyday people across the country live more comfortably” says Amanda Cupples, general manager for the UK and Northern Europe at Airbnb.

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    If this is true then we shouldn't be putting barriers in place to allow modest earners to earn a little more, whilst providing low cost short term rental opportunities to probably lower earning holiday makers.

    My issue is with the cheapskates who don't vet their customers and compete unfairly with hotels and those who observe the same safety requirements as long term rental property owners.

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    Airbnb raise some excellent points here showing that their service helps low income householders who rent their room as well as providing essential income to retailers in the community.

    Careful consideration should be given to adverse effects should Airbnb be decimated by expensive, licenced regulation. We can see that the government regulation of the PRS sector, of 4.2M homes, while well-intentioned, has only resulted in an ever-increasing sell-off of homes, that in turn has placed an even higher financial burden on local authorities.

    That over 2M right to buy homes, and counting, have been sold by both labour and conservative governments defies belief. Neither party has kept to their promises of building over 100,000 homes yearly.

    Simply introducing no-fault eviction will have little long-term benefit as landlords, who have saved and scrimped for their investment, will sell their property should their profit fall below what they can earn elsewhere.

    Charities such as Shelter and politician populists, with only a superficial intellectual understanding of housing, are taking both social housing and the private rental sector down an inevitable capillary of doom with no return.


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