Airbnb in Greece: Emerging Markets to Watch

Mark Saldana | February 21, 2019

While Greece has always been a popular vacation rental market, the country has seen a significant travel boom in recent years with even urban areas such as Athens transforming into hot tourist destinations. In 2018, Greece saw record numbers, with 33 million people visiting the country, and Athens alone seeing a 600% increase in visitors since 2013.

As tourism has increased, more Greeks in both urban and resort areas have jumped on the short-term rental bandwagon to match demand. Overall, hosts’ short-term rental revenue has increased by 105% since 2017.

To understand what is happening in the Greek Airbnb market, we looked at a number of different data points from 2017 and 2018 to see where hosts and vacation rental managers are making money, where short-term rental investors should look for opportunities, and what Airbnb hosts can do to stay competitive.

 

Airbnb in Greece: Increased Listings and Competition

 

Metric December 2017 December 2018 Growth Rate
Available Entire Place Listings 59,379 72,144 21%
Booked Entire Place Listings 17,138 22,079 29%
Listed Nights 473,163 585,766 24%
Booked Nights 249,577 270,021 8%
Occupancy 52.7% 46.1% -13%
Average Daily Rate €152.96 €126.44 -17%
RevPAR €80.68 €58.28 -28%

From the data above, we can see that there has been an increase in both booked nights and total listings, but a decrease in all short-term rental metrics: occupancy, average daily rate (ADR), and Revenue Per Available Rental (RevPAR).

Airbnb listings are currently at an all-time high, and today’s travelers have more choice than ever about where they should stay. This means that competition has increased among listings, and that hosts need to do all they can to stand out. According to the Journal of Travel Research, household amenities and a feeling of authenticity are major motivating factors for choosing an Airbnb, so hosts would do well to emphasize these in their listing.

Regardless of where a property is located, providing an exceptional guest experience and pricing listings competitively is key to boosting revenue in a highly competitive market. Hosts can get a better understanding of how to price their Greek listings in MarketMinder.

 

Airbnb in Greece: Emerging Markets to Watch

 

The following markets were selected based on year over year (YOY) monthly RevPAR growth. RevPAR growth means that hosts are making more money each year from their listings—some even doubling their rental revenues—either due to more booked nights, higher prices, or a combination of both.

To remove outliers (markets with low RevPAR or with high growth but a small number of listings) we only looked at markets with at least 250 listings and an average daily RevPAR over €45.

As with all short-term rentals, different markets within Greece have different regulations (read quick guidelines here). While 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.

We’ve included the Market Grade of each neighborhood below, which is a score based on four market factors.

Rental Demand

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

Revenue Growth

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

Seasonality

The seasonality score is the percentage difference between the minimum and maximum monthly RevPAR in the past year.

High Score = Low Seasonality

Regulation

This score looks at host and property behavior to identify signs of regulation and regulation enforcement.

High score = Low or Unenforced Regulation

Investability

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

Lefkada

  • Market Grade: 87/100 (A)
  • Rental Demand: 65
  • Revenue Growth: 100
  • Seasonality: 39
  • Regulation: 65

Moderate seasonality in this market carries some risk of making sure you get pricing right in the high season. If you have a good pricing strategy, a property in Lefkada can be a lucrative investment.

Ermionida

  • Market Grade: 60/100 (B-)
  • Rental Demand: 16
  • Revenue Growth: 100
  • Seasonality: 13
  • Regulation: 56

Ermionida’s low rental demand is offset high revenue growth, which means that short-term rental hosts are seeing increasing revenue from their listings. However, the high seasonality means that you need to get pricing right during the high season.

Corfu

  • Market Grade: 83/100 (A-)
  • Rental Demand: 75
  • Revenue Growth: 89
  • Seasonality: 30
  • Regulation: 61

Corfu has moderately high seasonality and also high rental demand. In this market, the high season matters, but not as much as other highly seasonal markets such as Ermionada.

Glyfada

  • Market Grade: 73/100 (B+)
  • Rental Demand: 62
  • Revenue Growth: 71
  • Seasonality: 47
  • Regulation: 45

Glyfada has moderate seasonality coupled with high demand and revenue growth, so this market doesn’t carry as much risk as the other extremely seasonal markets on this list.

Tinos

  • Market Grade: 71/100 (B+)
  • Rental Demand: 37
  • Revenue Growth: 100
  • Seasonality: 26
  • Regulation: 54

Tinos’ moderate rental demand and high revenue growth make this a good bet for investors. Seasonality is still moderately high, but not as high as other extremely seasonal markets in Greece.

HomeAway and Airbnb Market Share in Greece

 

While both Airbnb and HomeAway have a significant number of listings in major Greek markets, Airbnb is clearly the leader, with more than twice as many listings as HomeAway.

Looking at what active, entire-home hosts are making on these different platforms, it becomes clear that HomeAway hosts are seeing higher RevPAR in these markets than Airbnb hosts.

Hover over the interactive chart above for more detail

On the island of Mykonos, RevPAR for HomeAway hosts is more than double what Airbnb hosts are seeing. Typically, we see HomeAway perform better in traditional resort markets, where hosts tend to be experienced vacation rental managers. But even in the urban city of Athens, HomeAway beats Airbnb.

This data indicates that high-end listings in Greece (the top 90% percentile) do exceptionally well on HomeAway. If you have a listing and are catering to a more luxury crowd, you are leaving money on the table if you are only listed on Airbnb. Once you decide to list on HomeAway, be sure to adjust your prices accordingly—travelers on this platform are used to paying more for accommodations.

 

Professionals in Resort Markets, Part-Time Hosts in Urban Areas

 

With listings growing all across Greece, there is an interesting split between where professional hosts and part-time hosts are operating. Since a market’s professionality is often measured by the percentage of hosts that manage two or more listings, we can easily see which markets skew more professional or part-time.

In the resort markets of Santorini, Mykonos, Kos, Zakynthos, Crete and Corfu, there is a higher percentage of multi-listing hosts, likely due to experienced vacation rental managers catering to tourists. In Santorini, 78% of Airbnbs are managed by hosts with multiple listings. In Athens, just 22% of hosts manage two or more listings, and these multi-listing hosts in Athens manage 54% of all listings in the city.

Compare these numbers to highly-regulated European cities like Barcelona, where 30% of multi-listing hosts manage 65% of all the city’s properties.

Hover over the interactive chart above for more detail

As demand for accommodation rises in Athens, we can expect to see an increase in professionalization and more multi-listing vacation rental managers using Airbnb to emulate the success of Greece’s resort markets. Part-time hosts in Athens can expect increased competition from professional hosts in the near future.

Airbnb in Greece: Athens and Emerging Neighborhoods

 

Athens is one of the largest Airbnb markets in Greece, with nearly 15,000 listings. Looking at the data, 88% of listings in this market are entire home rentals, with 11% being private rooms, and shared rooms accounting for only 1% of total listings. On average, listings in Athens have one to two bedrooms and accommodate four to five guests.

To determine Athens’ up-and-coming neighborhoods, we looked at RevPAR and listing growth of hotel-comparable listings (studios and 1-bedroom apartments) in neighborhoods with at least 25 listings.

Hospitality professionals often use listing count as a measure of the health of the vacation rental market, but this is really just the story of supply. AirDNA collects data on every reservation of every Airbnb property worldwide, allowing us to see the demand of a market as well. The charts below display the up-and-coming neighborhoods in Athens by both listing and RevPAR growth.

 

Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods by Listing Growth

 

Neighborhood Active Listings 2017 Active Listings 2018 YOY Listing Growth YOY RevPAR Growth
Patisia 26 52 100% -12%
Agiou Konstantino 178 282 58% -5%
Commercial Triangle 633 895 41% 2%
Neos Kosmos 232 319 38% 1%
Koukaki – Makrygianni 277 377 36% 0%

 

Looking at the top neighborhoods by listing growth, decreased or stagnant RevPAR means that traveler demand has not yet caught up with supply. If more travelers look to these neighborhoods for their Airbnbs in the future, RevPAR may catch up. For now, these neighborhoods are not the best places for setting up a new Airbnb unless a host is confident they can outperform the increased competition.

 

Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods by RevPar Growth

 

Neighborhood RevPAR 2017 RevPAR 2018 YOY RevPAR Growth YOY Listing Growth
Ano Patisia € 14.77 € 18.48 25% 4%
Lycabettus € 38.46 € 42.46 10% -2%
Goudi € 28.70 € 31.14 9% 16%
Kolonos € 21.97 € 23.49 7% 0%
Gazi € 44.27 € 47.08 6% 0%

 

Out of top neighborhoods by RevPAR, Ano Patisia is a clear frontrunner for new listings. RevPAR growth is up by 25%, but listing growth has only risen by 4, indicating that there is a lot of opportunity but not a whole lot of competition (at least not yet) in this market. Kolonos. Lycabettus, and Gazi are also neighborhoods with great revenue potential but not a lot of competition. Goudi is seeing revenue growth as well, but it looks like hosts have already begun to realize the potential of this market, with a 16% increase in listings over the last year.

Start exploring Greece today in MarketMinder.

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