Airbnb: Listings still climbing in Cincinnati

Rental units still dwarfed by hotel/motel rooms

CINCINNATI -- The number of Airbnb listings in the Cincinnati market continues to climb, according to numbers provided by Airbnb.

As of June 2017, there were 780 listings in the Cincinnati market, an 8 percent increase from the 720 listings in January. The number of listings has grown more or less steadily over the past two years, according to Airbnb.

There was spike in listings in July 2015, when Cincinnati hosted Major League Baseball’s All-Star game and some locals listed their homes with Airbnb just for the occasion.

According to Airbnb, the number of listings jumped from 240 in June 2015 to 350 in July 2015, and then to 420 in August 2015. But the listings didn’t decrease after that, but instead continued to grow at a slower pace.

 

Occupancy rates have also generally been on an upward trajectory. In April 2017, the average occupancy rate was 55.5 percent, versus 49 percent in April 2016.

That’s according to stats provided by Airdna, a provider of data and analytics to rental entrepreneurs and investors.

However, Ben Breit, a spokesman for Airbnb, disputes the numbers provided by Airdna, which he said is not affiliated with Airbnb. He said he would provide correct numbers next week. 

Jonathan Guillen, who uses Airbnb to rent out the lower floor of his home in North Avondale, said it's booked almost every day during the summer, and about one-third of the month the rest of the year. 

Airdna's Abigail Long said that Airdna's figures have an eight percent margin of error. 

He's been an Airbnb host for about 2 1/2 years, and said it's been a way for him to meet a lot of great new people.

Initially, he figured that Cincinnati, not being a great tourist city, would limit his guests to maybe two weekends out of the month. But he's found that there are many reasons why people would visit the city.

He charges $66-$68 per day for 1-4 people. He doesn't charge a cleaning fee.

 

Prices to rent an entire home locally are higher. According to Airdna, the average daily rate for renting entire properties listed in the Cincinnati market was $128.58 in April. It was $115.09 in April 2015 and $131.14 in April 2016. Those rates include cleaning fees.

Over the past few years, the rate has spiked at the peak of the summer months. In July 2015 it was $161.64 and in July 2016 it was $174.81, the highest it's ever been.

There's not much demand in winter, though. The average rate fell to just less than $100 in February and March of 2015, and to $109.11 in January 2016 and $114.01 in February 2017.

 

Cincinnati hosts get pretty good ratings from their customers, with an average of 4.78 on a scale where 5 is the best. That's slightly better than Columbus and Cleveland, but not quite as good as our southern neighbors in Louisville, Lexington and Nashville.

At this point, the number of Airbnb places available for rent is dwarfed by the number of hotel/motel rooms in the Cincinnati market. According to the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau, 28,811 of such rooms were available in 2016, with an occupancy rate of nearly 65 percent.

 

"Airbnb is obviously a factor in many areas, and does appeal to certain segments in the travel market, but it hasn't quite reached critical mass here," said the Bureau's chief operating officer, Michael Laatsch.

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