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Friday 22 June 2018

How big Airbnb hosts are raking in more than €100k a year

Some Airbnb hosts are earning more than €100k per year
Some Airbnb hosts are earning more than €100k per year

Paul Melia Environment Editor

AT LEAST a dozen Airbnb hosts are earning more than €100,000 a year renting out homes on short-term contracts while the housing crisis deepens.

As many as 4,840 properties are being let in their entirety for as much as €800 a night, well in excess of what they would fetch if let to private or council tenants.

The website connects homeowners and those seeking to rent accommodation on a shortterm basis worldwide.

Figures supplied by AirDNA, which analyses market trends across the globe, show that one Dublin property owner has earned €172,227 in the last year alone for an apartment near Trinity College.

In Galway, one owner earned almost €158,000.

The top earner in Limerick secured just over €66,500 and in Cork an owner was paid almost €63,000.

Meanwhile, in Waterford a landlord received almost €41,500 in a year.

Airbnb and other short-term letting sites allow property owners to advertise a home online for holiday stays.

The AirBnB app.
The AirBnB app.

Seen as a lucrative source of income, there have been Opposition calls to regulate the sector, given the extent of the housing crisis.

Others fear that a two-tier system of holiday letting is now in place, with short-term mlets not subject to the same regulations as hotels or B&Bs.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said regulation was “urgently” needed.

“The Government needs to urgently introduce regulation,” he said.

“For those letting out their primary residence for more than the average, there needs to be planning permission sought so local authorities can decide if there are enough short-term lets in that area.

“Airbnb properties can make phenomenal profits without being registered with the Residential Tenancies Board and without being inspected by local authorities. That’s why you need primary legislation and there would be strong support for that.”

An analysis of AirDNA data shows that in Dublin, some 5,191 properties have been listed as available for letting in the last 18 months. Of these, 2,870 are entire homes.

The number of entire homes available in Galway city and county is 941, which falls to 771 in Cork, 157 in Waterford and 101 in Limerick.

The data shows that the average daily rate to rent an entire property in Dublin is €126, falling to €106 in Galway, €94 in Cork, €80 in Waterford and €79 in Limerick.

The AirDNA data also shows:

■ Some 63pc of properties listed in Dublin were occupied in the last month. This falls to 43pc in Galway, 37pc each in Cork and Limerick and 24pc in Galway;

■ There are more than 5,000 property owners with one or more homes available to rent;

■ Of the 9,165 listings in the five cities, 7,165 had at least one night booked in the last month;

■ Some 4,211 rooms in a house are also being offered, while 114 rooms are being offered on a shared basis.

Sources suggest that in some parts of Dublin, housing stock is being bought and refurbished to provide short-term letting accommodation.

This has raised concerns that homes for council and private renters are being removed from the housing stock, ramping-up rental costs.

There are also suggestions that some owners may be avoiding tax on their properties.

“You have to create a very clear system where if people are home-sharing, they can do it as long as they are tax compliant,” Mr Ó Broin added.

Read More: Rental crisis: Monthly costs soar to 7pc more than previous peak - before 2008 crash

The Revenue Commissioners said it used “leading edge digital systems”, data analytics and data sources to identify tax evasion.

Since 2016, property owners must provide details of rental income whether residential or commercial, but a spokesperson said that short-term letting income was not separately listed.

This income was taxable, and owners were responsible for ensuring they were compliant.

Property agents who might manage the property on behalf of owners were also obliged to provide an annual return to Revenue, setting out the amount received and details of the recipient.

Irish Independent

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