19 of 20 major Airbnb markets saw dramatic drop in short-term rental listings between May 2020 and March 2021. Only Broward County FL saw slight increase in number of listings.

No Surprise that Pandemic Caused Suffering in Most Airbnb Markets

A new study just released by LendingTree quantifies some pandemic effects on Airbnb short-term rental sites.

It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic put an enormous strain on the US hospitability industry including Airbnb hosts.  After all, In May 2020, seven weeks after COVID was declared a pandemic, officials who pre-screen airline passengers for weapons and illegal substances employed by the Transportation Security Administration accounted for only 10% of the usual number of airline travelers.

And even though there’s been an uptick in travelers, the number of active short-term Airbnb rentals remained down at least -40% since May.

Key Findings of Study on Pandemic Effects on Short-Term Rentals

  • Short-term rental markets remain depressed across US in 19 of 20 markets down between May 2020 and March 2021
  • New York metro area a casualty
    • Jersey City NJ saw number of active listings fall by 61%
    • New York saw number of listings drop by -31%
  • Short-term rental markets that heavily dependent on hospitality industry did the best
    • Sunny Broward County FL saw number of short-term rental listings increase by +2%
    • Clark County NV (Las Vegas) saw listings drop by only -10%
    • Listings in New Orleans dropped only -11%
  • Some short-term rental owners saw increase in business
    • Santa Cruz County short-term rental owners saw average number of reviews per listing increase the most

Short-Term Rental Markets Most Pandemic Affected

Looking at the market areas that lost the most short-term rental listings from May 2020 to March 2021, LendingTree included….

  • Jersey City NJ – -61%
  • Seattle WA – -42%
  • Oakland CA – -40%
  • New York NY – -31%
  • Twin Cities Metro MN – -28%

Some of these worst affected metros, specifically Jersey City and New York City, have also been hit by laws intended to crack down on illegal short-term rentals plus stricter regulations on short-term rentals that went into effect in January 2021.

Not all the news, however, has been bad for Airbnb short-term rentals.  “Sunny” and hot hospitality markets have seen short-term rental listings either increase slightly (Broward County FL – +2%) or not completely collapse (Clark County NV – -10% and the entire state of Hawaii    -11%).

Average Minimum Stay Length Soared in Some Markets

In 15 of the 20 Airbnb short-term rental markets LendingTree analyzed for this study, average minimum stay lengths jumped.  Markets experiencing the most minimum stay lengths included…

  • New York – +237%
  • Jersey City – +195%
  • Los Angeles – +53%
  • Denver – +48%
  • Washington DC – +36%

Bottom Line

Though the COVID pandemic greatly challenged the sort-term rental market, LendingTree is still endorses the short-term rental business.

LendingTree’s chief economist Tendayi Kapfidze said, “Travel demand will be higher than last year, and there is a lot of pent-up demand.  Hotels may be close to capacity, and some travelers may still want a measure of distancing from public spaces.  Dynamics will vary by location, though, so make sure you understand your local market (and home valuations.)”

Thanks to LendingTree.

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