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Short-term rentals outpace major accommodation types – study

The short-term rental sector has bounced back quicker than most accommodation sectors since the UK’s reopening, recent performance data from STR shows.

The tracking study, conducted in partnership with the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA), measures the three main accommodation sectors and simultaneously compares how short-term rentals in London have performed against hotels and serviced apartments.



According to the data, short-term rentals occupancy rose from 43.1% in May 2020 to 64.1% in May 2021 – an increase of 48.8%. A 12.5% improvement between April and May this year was also recorded on a month-on-month basis.

Hotel occupancy stood at 28% in April 2020, while serviced apartments were 39.9% and short-term rentals rested at 57%.

Average daily rates (ADRs)

Short-term rentals fared best with a rise of 9.4% from April 2020 to April this year. This is compared to hotels which, understandably, had a 14.9% decline, and serviced apartments which had a massive 63.1% decrease.

Short-term rentals saw ADRs rise 16.5% from April to May this year.

Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR)

Short-term rentals again came out on top, having experienced the highest growth with a 44.8% increase over the same period. Serviced apartments saw an increase of 25.2% but hotels saw a decline of 2.6%.

The month-on-month picture was even brighter for short term rentals with a huge 40.8% increase from April to May this year.

Average length of stay

The average length of stay for short-term rentals rose from 11.9 days in May 2020 to 13.3 days by December 2020, hitting a high in November of 14.3 days.

Merilee Karr, Chair of the STAA and chief executive officer of UnderTheDoormat, comments: “It’s really encouraging for our sector to see some of the main business indicators looking so much healthier since the UK domestic tourism and hospitality markets have opened up.”

“Whilst a hole will still exist from the absence of international visitors to London, customer confidence and the strength of the staycation trend are likely to fuel further the London accommodation recovery.”

She continues: “Customer preferences for a ‘home-from-home’ experience have grown and short-term rentals in cities are fitting that bill perfectly. The ease at which guests can socially distance themselves from others and benefits such as the high standards of cleanliness and safety, should cement short-term rentals as a mainstream option for tourists and holidaymakers.”

Patrick Mayock, STR’s VP of research & development, adds: “Our pilot study continues to highlight the resiliency of short-term rentals in London. The results are really positive for the sector and reflect shifts in travel demand throughout the pandemic.”

“It will be interesting to watch how other accommodation types fare as restrictions loosen and more group and corporate travel return to the market. Our report will give those in all of the accommodation sectors valuable and unparalleled visibility of such performances and trends.”

Poll: Would you consider short-term rentals over long-term rentals?



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