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Revealed - Airbnb hosts ramp up prices by 300% during popular seasons

Throughout the year people looking to enjoy a local or international getaway rely on services such as Airbnb. Homestays for cabin houses, holiday rentals, and tourism activities can be booked through the online marketplace.

A recent survey conducted by money.co.uk, however, discovered during major events and public holidays Airbnb owners are charging over 300% to stay at their properties.

With England set to welcome double-jabbed US and EU tourists and large events getting back on schedule, marketplaces such as Airbnb have a busy next few months ahead of them.


What events have the biggest Airbnb price increase?

In the money.co.uk study, the average nightly price of rentals on Airbnb was analysed. Dates and locations where the UK’s biggest events are set to take place throughout 2021 were the primary focus.

Prices were compared to dates of the previous week to uncover which events increase Airbnb prices the most. 

Stays around the time of Cowes Week, a sailing regatta located on the Isle of Wight, went up 305% in price. Stays around the time of the Open Championship golf tournament, held in Sandwich, Kent this year, had a 144% increase, making it the event with the second-highest Airbnb price increase.

Airbnb landlords renting around Cowes Week and the Open Championship can afford to charge much more because there are fewer accommodation options in the locations these events are held compared to major cities.

In third place is TRNSMT Festival held in Glasgow. Airbnb hosts charge more than twice as much (105% increase) during the festival as they do the week before. As a non-camping festival, alternative accommodation must be found, which is likely the reason for such a high increase in Airbnb prices during the weekend of this festival.

What nationwide holidays have the biggest Airbnb price increase?

During the Halloween weekend, Airbnb owners increase prices by 6% on average in England’s ten major cities. Glasgow saw the biggest price increase of 58% during this weekend.

Over the summer bank holiday weekend, Airbnb landlords increase property stays by an average of 6%. Liverpool saw the biggest price increase with nightly fees leaping by 22% compared to the previous weekend. 

Rental prices increase by an average of 8% during the Christmas holiday. Edinburgh Airbnb prices increased by a hefty 18%, followed by Sheffield (14%) and Liverpool (9%).

The full research can be viewed in full here. Below is a table showing the top 10 events with the biggest Airbnb price increases.

Rank Event Location Dates Average Price During Event Average Price Previous weekend Increase
1 Cowes Week Cowes, Isle of Wight July 31-August 7 £369 £91 305%
2 2021 Open Championship Royal St George's Golf Club, Kent July 15-18 £611 £250 144%
3 TRNSMT Festival Glasgow Green, Glasgow September 10-12 £219 £107 105%
4 UEFA Euro 2020 Final Wembley Stadium, London July 11 £173 £85 104%
5 Parklife Heaton Park, Greater Manchester September 11-12 £181 £95 91%
6 Glorious Goodwood Goodwood Racecourse, West Sussex July 27-31 £253 £173 46%
7 Tramlines Festival Hillsborough Park, Sheffield July 23-25 £185 £132 40%
8 2021 Super League Grand Final Old Trafford, Greater Manchester October 9 £361 £272 33%
9 Ebot Festival York Racecourse, North Yorkshire August 18-21 £193 £147 31%
10 England v India five Test series Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Greater Manchester September 10-14 £146 £115 27%

Why do Airbnb prices increase during these seasons?

Recent statistics show that during the fourth quarter of 2020 Airbnb posted a £2.8 billion loss. Global revenue fell 22% to £613 million in the three months to December 31 as the number of nights booked fell 39% from a year earlier.

The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to this loss because the restrictions put in place to help lower the spread of the virus included national lockdowns that stopped international travel and stopped people from having staycations. As a result, the number of short-term rental listings dropped.

With the UK travel industry and society in general reopening, it's little surprise to see so many Airbnb hosts eager to get back to business, and many will be able to generate strong rental income as more events take place and Britain experiences another staycation boom. But question marks over whether it's right for Airbnb landlords to inflate their prices as much as they do, and whether they are taking away much-needed supply, will also persist.


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