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Greece Heading Towards Saturation of Airbnb Rentals

Although there was a huge increase in available listings and booked nights on short-term rental platforms for Greece last year, there was also a decrease in occupancy and revenues, according to data presented recently by AirDNA, an analytics platform that provides insights on the performance of vacation rental properties worldwide.

“What this suggests to us is that Greece is at a critical point, its heading towards market saturation which is an indication that supply is much higher than the demand,” said AirDNA’s international sales manager, Aimee Trusler, speaking at the 2nd BnB Guest Conference in Athens.

AirDNA records data from the home sharing platforms Airbnb and HomeAway.

AirDNA International Sales Manager Aimee Trusler.

According to the data for Greece, last year the number of available entire place listings on both platforms increased by 23.9 percent, from 76,369 at the end of December 2018 to 94,592 at the end of December 2019.

However, during that period, revenue per available rental (RevPAR) fell by 9.4 percent to 43.46 euros from 47.98 euros in 2018, while the occupancy rate declined 15 percent to 38.6 percent of all listings, from 45.4 percent.

“This does not necessarily mean a bad thing but what it does mean is that it is more important now than ever to professionalize your listings to stay ahead in such a competitive market,” Trusler told an audience filled with owners of properties listed on the platforms.

The average daily rate last December was up by 6.5 percent to 112.48 euros from 105.62 euros in December 2018.

Analyzing the data further, Trusler listed the Greek destinations where demand remained very high during the same period last year and saw revenue growth.

“Τhis year’s markets to watch are completely different compared to last year and this tells us how rapidly this industry is growing… These markets might not even be markets that you would think but we can see that they’ve increased massively in the last year,” she underlined.

The island of Andros in the Cyclades was in the lead of the top five markets last year with a rise of 25.02 percent of daily RevPAR growth, followed by Lesvos (+19.5 percent), Thessaloniki (+14.18 percent), Kavala (+4.28 percent) and Naxos and the Small Cyclades (+3.77 percent).

Andros, Greece.

“So when we talk about market saturation in Greece, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole market is saturated. What it might mean is that the top markets, let’s say Athens for example, is expanding faster than the demand… Now is your opportunity to identify other markets in Greece where you can start to invest and get ahead of the game before it becomes saturated,” Trusler said.

Referring to the top destinations in Greece in terms of overall listing numbers, Trusler showed that showed, compared with last year’s data, that Crete remains the number one destination for both Airbnb and Homeaway, again followed by Athens and Corfu.


Referring to the short-term rental market in Athens, Trusler said that the Greek capital is still considered a good place to set up an Airbnb listing, maintaining an “A” market rate.

“Athens has a huge amount of growth in professionalization… This means being available 365 day a year, this means reaching an occupancy rate upwards of 50 percent, this means having booked days for more than half of the year,” she said.

According to AirDNA, active listings in Athens on both platforms (Airbnb and HomeAway) surpass 13,634 (12,213 listings on Airbnb and 1,421 listings on Homeaway), up year-on-year from some 12,300.

Moreover, Trusler presented the top 10 Airbnb-neighborhoods in Athens by RevPAR, which once again showed the Zappeion area in the lead. The Zappeion area in 2019 had an average daily RevPAR of around 75 euros, up from 58 euros the year before.

Referring to the market on a global scale, Trusler said that short-term rentals are becoming more popular with a 23 percent point larger share staying in alternative accommodations over the last two years.

“A few years ago short-term rental satisfaction was down in a big way and people were decreasing the usage of such properties,” Trusler said, referring to research carried out in 2018.

“Βut, in more recent statistics, we can see now that short term rental demand is going up. We can see that a large percentage of people have stayed in a short-term rental in the last two years, versus 2017 and 2018… That’s why it’s becoming more and more important to build your brand,” she told owners of properties listed on short-term rental platforms.

Organized by Smart Press, the BnB Guest Conference aims to establish itself as an information hub for all those involved in the short-term rental market and to provide them the opportunity to offer better services and the chance to maximize their benefits.

GTP Headlines was a media partner to the BnB Guest Conference.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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