Did Airbnb Affect The Rental Market In Beirut?

1st September 2018
Home > News > Did Airbnb Affect The Rental Market In Beirut?

The rise of Airbnb listings in Beirut in the past few years is undeniable. But did this rise affect the real estate rental market? and did it impact the local real estate brokers?

With a few button clicks on a smartphone or a laptop, you can book a reasonably priced, centrally located private apartment or a room within an apartment in Beirut. Airbnb is probably making travel easier all over the world not only in Beirut, but is it affecting the rental market of Beirut? One can safely argues that Airbnb main service is short rental and it is directed mostly to travelers and hence it is in direct competition to hotels and motels rather than real estate rental market; but come to think of it, every apartment listed on Airbnb is usually off the long-term normal rental market. By taking supply off the market, Airbnb could potentially raise prices. But is this the real situation?

Talking to many home owners who are using the Airbnb platform to help rent their apartment, the common explanation goes as follow: “ we always prefer long-term rental to a series of short-term rentals across the year that requires more management including services such as cleaning and constant wifi that is not usually required for long-term rentals. However, Beirut has witnessed a big supply of apartments available for rent in the past decade following the real estate market rise in early 2000’s and hence owners are finding Airbnb an option to rent their apartments for short-term. We believe that the target audience of Airbnb clients and long-term rentals are totally different and the supply market of apartments for rent in Beirut remains reasonably high that no real impact can be measured”.

On a related note, one real-estate agent we interviewed argues that many real estate investors are seeking to purchase apartments that fits Airbnb profile to benefit from the platform ability to improve their ROI; Hence can this impact positively the real estate Sale market rather than hurt the real estate long-term rental market?

Both equations remain equally difficult to measure and tracking such impacts on real estate market may be insignificant!

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