In Depth

London Airbnb host with 881 properties makes £11.9m in one year

More than a third of ‘hosts’ are actually private property management companies, according to data analysts

A single Airbnb host has raked in £11.9m in one year by renting out 881 properties in London, according to data from analysts AirDNA.

The haul makes the unidentified user the most profitable AirBnB host on the platform. A host in Indonesian tourist hotspot Bali came second, earning £11.8m last year.

But while all 881 listings were posted by the same Airbnbaccount, AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford says that it would be incorrect to imagine a single owner sitting on a multi-million pound Airbnb portfolio.

“These are businesses that have emerged in this new economy, with hundreds of employees, managing other people’s second homes,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

However, individual owners are still raking in impressive profits from renting out their spare rooms or vacant homes - especially in the capital Figures seen by Telegraph Travel show that the average Airbnb host in London makes £16,003 a year, compared to a UK-wide average of £3,000.

Property management companies now make up 35% of global hosts on the platform, and Shatford says that some are renting out as many as 1,000 rooms, flats and homes on behalf of their owners.

The shift represents a departure from Airbnb’s original concept as a flat-sharing platform that would allow travellers to get to know a new place with the help of a local host.

“It’s getting harder and harder to decipher what is a corporate rental hotel against the one where Jane is going to meet you at the door and tell you all about the cool things to do in town,” Shatford said.

Airbnb says that 80% of its UK hosts are individuals rather than companies, but the company is embracing the potential of collaboration with lettings agents and private landlords to unlock huge chunks of real estate.

In San Francisco, it has teamed up with one of the largest residential landlords in the city for a deal which allows tenants to list their homes on the platform for short-term rentals.

Sub-lets are prohibited by most private landlords, but Veritas Investments is to allow tenants in five of its 200 or so residential buildings to rent out their home on Airbnb for short-term stays. In return, Veritas will receive 10% of the profits, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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