In the past few years, short-term rentals have taken off worldwide, with both traditional resort markets and urban areas becoming hot spots for investment. While we’ve traditionally focused on the best places to buy a vacation rental property in the U.S., if you want to buy vacation rental property in Europe to expand an existing rental portfolio or kick off a short-term rental business, it’s important to understand that multiple factors come into play when choosing the right property.
How We Determined the Best Places to Buy Vacation Rental Property
What makes for a desirable European vacation rental market? To come up with this list, we looked at five different factors to provide each zip code within our Airbnb data set of 10 million short-term rentals across 80,000 regions with a score from 0-100, which we call the Market Grade.
By using a combination of annual occupancy and listing growth rates, this score shows the relative travel demand in a market.
High Score = High Travel Demand
This score is calculated by looking at the change in year-over-year RevPAR for properties that received bookings in both time periods.
High Score = Increasing Revenue per Property
The seasonality score is the percentage difference between the minimum and maximum monthly RevPAR in the past year.
High Score = Low Seasonality
This score looks at host and property behavior to identify signs of regulation and regulation enforcement.
Although some might shy away from purchasing in areas with complicated or heavy regulation, savvy investors often know how to navigate the various requirements within markets that represent great investment opportunities.
High score = Low or Unenforced Regulation
This score compares the cost of homes in the area to the average short-term rental income of full-time rental properties.
High Score = Good Investment Opportunity
The Top 15 Markets to Buy Vacation Rental Property in Europe
As the world’s leading provider of vacation rental data and analytics, AirDNA tracks the daily performance of 10 million Airbnb and HomeAway listings across 80,000 markets globally. Below is a map and summary of the top 15 Europeans markets to buy a vacation rental property, based on market grade.
Jump to Individual Countries
Vantaa is an excellent market for short-term rentals—it sees high demand, high revenue growth, low seasonality, and moderate regulation.
Rezé in western France is an all-around excellent market with high demand, high growth, and low seasonality.
Two of the top fifteen European markets are in Germany, and both of them see high rental demand and low seasonality. Revenue growth in Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis and Jena is low to moderate, but with little to no seasonality in these markets, you can expect to get bookings year round.
- Market Grade: 84/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 89
- Revenue Growth: 27
- Seasonality: 85
- Regulation: 58
Greece is an exciting market for short-term rentals. The Athens neighborhood of Kallithea has high demand year-round, decent revenue growth, and high rental demand, making it a great place to set up listings that cater to urban travelers.
- Market Grade: 90/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 76
- Revenue Growth: 58
- Seasonality: 98
- Regulation: 45
Revenue growth in Florence is high, so if you’re successful at setting up a short-term rental here, you’ll likely see your revenue increase year over year. Seasonality here isn’t too much of a concern, but if you want to maximize your earnings, you’ll need to get pricing right during the slower season which takes place from November through March.
- Market Grade: 96/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 69
- Revenue Growth: 83
- Seasonality: 66
- Regulation: 79
Seasonality is somewhat high in this Dutch market, with demand spiking in summer. If you’re an experienced host or vacation rental manager, Goeree-Overflakkee is a great opportunity. Just make sure you optimize pricing during the low season to match market demand.
- Market Grade: 93/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 93
- Revenue Growth: 74
- Seasonality: 53
- Regulation: 66
Spain overall sees low seasonality, making it a great place for short-term rentals that earn year round. Tacoronte—located in the Canary Islands—and Seville both have great revenue growth and rental demand. While Valladolid in northern Spain has more moderate revenue growth and rental demand, it sees lower seasonality than Seville.
- Market Grade: 99/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 72
- Revenue Growth: 76
- Seasonality: 80
- Regulation: 79
- Market Grade: 94/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 65
- Revenue Growth: 65
- Seasonality: 97
- Regulation: 63
- Market Grade: 86/100 (B+)
- Rental Demand: 51
- Revenue Growth: 47
- Seasonality: 92
- Regulation: 74
Nestled in the Alps, the Swiss market of Leukerbad has high rental demand and surprisingly low seasonality, with visitors flocking here year-round to take in the views and activities.
- Market Grade: 75/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 78
- Revenue Growth: 3
- Regulation: 67
While four of the top European markets are in the UK, none of them are within Greater London. All of these markets see low seasonality and low to moderate regulation. Luton, Tunbridge Wells, and Milton Keynes are all within a few hours of London, while Chester is situated on the UK-Wales border just outside of Liverpool.
- Market Grade: 88/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 86
- Revenue Growth: 39
- Seasonality: 91
- Regulation: 55
- Market Grade: 100/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 89
- Revenue Growth: 77
- Seasonality: 93
- Regulation: 53
- Market Grade: 94/100 (A)
- Rental Demand: 85
- Revenue Growth: 66
- Seasonality: 89
- Regulation: 49
Comparing The Top 15 European Markets
While all of these Europeans markets are great areas for investment, each has unique challenges and opportunities for hosts and vacation rental managers. You’ll need to take into account your own risk tolerance and revenue expectations when deciding where to focus your efforts. To get you started, here’s a look at how RevPAR and listing growth (supply) compare across these markets.
RevPAR for markets in Switzerland and the United Kingdom lead the group, with Leukerbad, Chester, and Tunbridge Wells, seeing RevPAR well over €60.
The market with the lowest RevPAR, Kallithea, has a seasonality score of 98, meaning that short-term rentals in this market rarely see a dip in demand, with travelers consistently booking listings here throughout the year.
Goeree-Overflakkee leads the group in supply growth, with an almost 60% increase in listings year over year. This island has become a popular area for tourists who want to see the countryside in spring and summer, and hosts and vacation rental managers have taken notice.
On the other end of the spectrum, Valladolid has only seen a 5% increase in supply despite its revenue potential. This means low competition in a market that already has little to no seasonality.
You’ll need to balance all of these factors to find the market that’s right for you.
Download the full data set below—with historical RevPAR, RevPAR growth, total number of listings, and more—to start narrowing down your search today.