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Airbnb-style short lets bookings down 90% warns rental platform

A short-lets rental platform says it has evidence to show that nights booked in April are down 90 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Lavanda has released case study data illustrating the scale of the market collapse because of Coronavirus.

It uses the example of a short-term rental manager operating a 300 unit portfolio. 


The study highlights that, whilst some very small pockets of demand do prevail, new bookings are being won at significantly reduced rates.

Nights booked in April 2020 are down by 90 per cent compared to the same month of 2019, cancellations as a percentage of bookings have increased 118 per cent year on year, and average daily rates - the amount paid by clients - is 30 per cent down year on year.

“As the world battles COVID-19, the reality on the ground for short-term rental operators makes grim reading, with many great businesses now facing an existential threat” comments Frederik Lerche-Lerchenborg, Lavanda’s chief executive. 

“This reality should not be dressed up, however it’s equally important that we remind ourselves that there’s light at the end of this tunnel; as global travel restrictions and social distancing measures are eased, demand to travel will bounce back fast, and it will be stronger than ever before. The problem is that nobody knows exactly when demand will return, or what shape it will take; it is this uncertainty that makes the current context so challenging."

“In these unprecedented times, business owners and leaders have to act fast and take tough decisions if their businesses are to survive. There will be no second chances; nobody wants to look back wishing they’d done more or acted differently” continues Lerche-Lerchenborg. 

He says that what he calls “the smartest business leaders” are planning for the worst, whilst hoping for the best - as evidenced by Airbnb’s $2 billion fundraise over recent weeks. 

  • Mark Wilson

    Down 90%, sounds about right. But on the Smart money, I wonder. I wouldn't be surprised if that bubble has burst and markets become more localised again. In London it is a sector full of monkey business and that just has to change. I also read here the other day that Airbnb are looking at longer term lets so it might end up as a letting portal.

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    • 17 April 2020 10:01 AM

    AirBnB is such a recognised brand it would be relatively easy to expand into normal lettings.
    Then what is to prevent them going for sales as well.
    Rightmove etc watch out.
    AirBnB could be the first free or almost free listings site.
    Then watch LA business disappear.

  • Bill James

    Mark, I agree with you about local demand. I think we could also see an easing of Airbnb restrictions from major destinations, as countries scramble to prop up their economies with tourism. Granted, we are a ways off from that point, so I think local demand is likely the first area we'll see life. I downloaded the guide and had a read, quite useful. It's not in the article for some reason, and it won't let me share here, but I got it from Lavanda's LinkedIn page.


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