Excerpt from Wired
Despite the 90-day cap on listings, Airbnb is approaching 20,000 rentals a week, up from 1,000 as recently as 2013, according to data scraped from its site.
At first, Airbnb grew slowly in London. By 2012, four years after it first launched, there were only a few hundred rentals in the capital each week. Then, in 2014, word started to spread. That year, there were approximately 90,000 rentals in the city.
But it wasn't until 2015 that Airbnb really took off in London, as our new visualisation, shown below, illustrates. Based on data scraped from Airbnb’s site, it shows the startup's seemingly unstoppable advance, with around 215,000 rentals in 2015, followed by around 480,000 the following year.
Based on current growth, Airbnb has probably already made its millionth London booking. As of spring last year, it was on 935,000 – and, while it showed some signs of slowing in central London, its growth in the city’s outer boroughs remained strong.
The data comes from InsideAirbnb, a non-commercial website which tracks Airbnb reviews in cities across the world, and has been depicted using Flourish, a Google News Lab- and Local Globe-backed visualisation tool, which launched yesterday.
“The London data visualised here consists of 666,250 reviews left on the site between the company’s launch and spring last year,” says Flourish co-founder Duncan Clark. “This equates to around a million actual rentals [since Airbnb’s founder says that, on average, 72 per cent of stays are reviewed] and around £380 million of revenue based on Airbnb’s figure of an average stay in London of 4.6 nights.”
A study from property services company Colliers – also based on scraped data, this time from commercial analysts AirDNA – suggested that Airbnb’s market share in London nearly tripled in 2017, jumping from 2.8 to 7.6 per cent of overnight stays.
"Despite the 90-day rental cap, London was one the highest growth major markets in 2017," says AirDNA founder Scott Shatford. "It will continue to see strong growth as business travellers migrate from hotels and Airbnb units are available at a significant discount."
Airbnb disputes the accuracy of scraped data, but does not release publicly-accessible datasets to support its claims. Its UK Insights Report said that around two million guests had stayed at 64,000 London listings between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, growth of 49 per cent.
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