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Home owners abandon Airbnb, look for students, families

The disappointing course of bookings during the summer and the even worse picture from September onwards, have put a tombstone on any possible market recovery from autumn onwards.

The departure of apartments from short-term rental platforms in recent days is accelerating as their owners rush to prepare apartments for students, or families (depending on the size and location of each property), at least for the next year and until the tourism sector recovers.

According to data from digital platforms (eg Airbnb, Homeaway, etc.), the disappointing course of bookings during the summer and the even worse picture from September onwards, due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in key tourism markets, have put a tombstone on any possible market recovery from autumn onwards.

September’s performance is disappointing. Based on reservations made until the beginning of August, the average occupancy of short-term rental accommodation in the whole country is below 30 percent with the average price per night reaching 100 euros. In the corresponding month of 2019, the average occupancy was more than double, exceeding 65 percent nationwide, while the average price per accommodation was 80 euros.

Those who operated their properties as short-term rental accommodation this year raised prices by about 20 percent to make up for losses from low occupancy rates.

In the center of Athens, in September last year, the occupancy rate of short-term rental accommodation had risen to 64 percent, with the average price per night reaching 62 euros. These are good numbers, but lower than those of 2018, when for example, the average occupancy rate was 69 percent.

Thus, based on data collected until August 19, the number of short-term rental accommodations rented in the center of Athens had fallen to 8,990, for the first time since 2018. Compared to the corresponding period of 2019, it is estimated that about 2,800-3,000 homes have been pulled from the short term rental market, based on data from the statistics platform for AirDNA short-term leases.

A few months ago, when the issue of the pandemic first emerged, initial estimates from several market officials was that accommodation would initially be less affected than large hotels, which were being avoided by tourists.

There was also optimism due to the successful handling of the pandemic by our country and the positive publicity it received overall as a tourist destination. In fact, some spoke of partial replenishment of losses in the fall, believing that the pandemic would shift the tourist season a few months later, that is, that many visitors would come to Greece in September and October, when the weather is still almost summer. instead of e.g. for July and August.

However, these forecasts have missed the mark. Because the Athens market has less seasonality than that e.g. of Mykonos, it is estimated that there will be some demand in these later months, however, given the oversupply of accommodation, the situation will become even more difficult for the owners whose property is not located in the historical center of the capital.

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