During the lockdown, demand for Airbnb accommodation has nosedived, with figures* showing that rental listings have surged across UK cities, with London seeing an average 112% increase in available properties, compared with the same period last year. (*Source: OpenRent March 2020).

One and two bedroomed properties witnessed the largest leap is listings, 132% and 105% respectively in mid-March. Rightmove have also recorded a jump in rental listings in Central London during the lockdown, while tourist cities such as Bath have seen a rise of 78%, followed by Edinburgh (62%) and Brighton (55%).

While the lockdown is being lifted for the short-term let sector on July 4 2020, Airbnb and other platforms face rigorous cleaning protocols to conform with UK government guidance.

According to Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group, there are many communities across the UK who are hoping the short-term lettings market is slow to recover. “Analysis by the Guardian has identified that in some parts of the UK, there in an Airbnb listing for every four homes. The highest incidence of Airbnbs was in Edinburgh Old Town, where there were 29 active listings for every 100 properties. In one area of the Lake District: Windermere North, Ambleside and Langdales, there were 19 listings per 100 properties.

“This huge growth of online holiday lettings is depriving communities of much-needed homes, especially in areas where there is a large waiting list for accommodation. This problem is mainly prevalent in large cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. Recent figures from the BBC’s Housing Briefing estimate that we have built 1.2 million fewer homes than we should have, and the need for more homes is increasing. The calculations suggest it will take at least 15 years at current building rates to close the gap, and that not enough of what is being built is
affordable.

“We are seeing increasing tenant demand for property in the North West, particularly for professional and student accommodation. HMOs in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton have become very popular with investors, as they can acquire a high quality, three-bed HMO which houses three students, from £120,000 upwards.

“The return on investment is very attractive too, with 13% (8% cash rental and 5% capital growth). The gross rent will be between £368-500 pcm per room. Larger rooms, open plan living and kitchen areas, ensuites, TVs, unlimited broadband, premium kitchen appliances and furnishings are the type of features that help to generate a high yielding HMO.”

The Mistoria Group are high yielding student buy-to-let investment specialists, offering HMOs and armchair investments in the North of the UK, generating combined net cash yield up to 13% (Rental and Capital Growth).