Airbnb properties mushrooming in Beirut. Accommodation tripled since 2015 - Lebanon

Airbnb properties
mushrooming in Beirut
Accommodation tripled since 2015
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Cumulative listed properties on Airbnb in Beirut has almost tripled in the last two years, from more than 300 to almost 900 listings, according to the June 2017 report by AirDNA, a website offering data on Airbnbs worldwide.

Airbnb is an online community marketplace that connects locals, travelers, and tourists to those wishing to rent short and long term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, and hostels.

The districts of Hamra, Ashrafieh, and Mar Mikhael are among the main districts for Airbnb properties.

“This business is growing rapidly locally, because awareness of the online platform is increasing. Demand on hostel communities is increasing,” said Raja Nari, Chairman of Turnkey Ventures, a hospitality consultancy firm.

Sarah Berjaoui, Manager of Ouda w Dar, which manages several Airbnb properties in Ashrafieh, Sodeco, Ballouneh, and Saifi Village, said that demand for their properties is increasing through the Airbnb platform.

“Beirut is unpredictable but occupancy rates for the summer are expected to reach 80% for our apartments,” she said.

According to the study, empty apartments available for rent account entirely for 55 percent of total number of properties listed, private rooms within apartments (42 percent), and shared rooms (three percent).

According to the AirDNA data, 78 percent of the time rented by guests is between one and three months, and 16 percent between four and six months.

The average daily price for a shared room is $12, private room $31, studio $51, one-bedroom $57, and four-bedrooms $90.

“Property owners are getting extra income or revenues from this business because they are providing spare rooms that they are not in need of,” said Nasri.

Berjaoui said: “This business is more profitable in this country because there are fewer restrictions than in other countries. For example, in the UK properties that are listed on the platform need to be licensed and approval must be sought from others living in the same building.”

Nasri said that property owners are renting their places and rooms at times suitable for them.

“The only risk is the wear and tear of furniture,” he said.

Based in San Francisco, Airbnb does not own any lodgings. It is a broker that receives percentage service fees (commission) from both guests and hosts in every booking.

According to Berjaoui, Airbnb charges a three percent commission from the host and ten percent from the guest.

The platform has more than 3,000,000 lodging listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries. The cost of lodging is set by the host.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jun 22, 2017