Airbnb Runs into Obstacles Worldwide
From Athens and Amsterdam to Paris and Berlin, Airbnb is facing all the more obstacles since it first entered the market a decade ago, as authorities try to restrict the expansion of the home-sharing practice that has taken popular destinations by storm.
The short-term lease of homes as tourist accommodation at favorite tourist spots worldwide has, on the one hand, created competition on the tourism market but at the same time taken a toll on property sales and rentals, in many instances making it near to impossible to find a permanent home to rent.
Case in point, the inability of school teachers posted to Santorini last year to find housing on the island.
At the same time, residents at famous tourist spots have repeatedly expressed their discontent with the practice which has led to massive inflows of tourists and major disruptions to the way of life. Hotels associations are also up in arms over what they say is “unfair” play.
Meanwhile, in Greece, since 2015, more than 42,000 properties can be found listed in online platforms, with about 8,500 to 9,000 in the Attica area, mostly in the heart of Athens, Neos Kosmos, Pagrati and Exarchia, according to a Grant Thornton report for the Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.
The expansion of the home-sharing practice has led to a boost in the property market in Greece, particularly at popular tourist destinations such as central Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, where foreigners – benefitting at the same time from the Golden visa program – and large hotel chains are massively buying.
In turn, all the more property owners are preferring to lease to tourists instead of long-term tenants, while foreign real estate agents and agencies aiming to get a bite out of Athens’ booming property market are looking to sell quick and get the commission in view of increased interest by buyers seeking to make use of the said properties as short-term Airbnb-style rentals.