Property owners in Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle could make more money listing their spare room on Airbnb for one night a week than if they rent it out full-time.
A new handy guide from Vanquis bank does the maths in 21 of the UK’s biggest cities using data from SpareRoom and Airbnb to find the winners and losers.
Cardiff came out as the most profitable city for Airbnb, with homeowners earning £6,344 a year – 86% more than traditional renting, which pays £3,408 – while Cambridge came out as the least profitable city for Airbnb where homeowners could expect to earn an annual income of just £3,744, 35% less than the average rental income of £5,772.
The Government’s Rent a Room Scheme currently allows home owners to earn up to £7,500 a year without having to pay tax on this revenue.
£8,126 a year
Unsurprisingly, London came out on top as the best city for renting, with homeowners able to make £8,126 per year, compared to £6,084 via Airbnb.
The Vanquis calculator will no doubt incur the wrath of local councils whose cities are already saturated with Airbnbs.
Edinburgh in particular has the highest incidence of Airbnbs with 29 active listings for every 100 properties and is likely to be one of the first local authorities in Scotland to start licensing short-term lets when new rules take effect in the region next spring.
Vanquis isn’t the first to highlight such opportunities, as earlier this year a similar wheeze from bespoke blinds company Thomas Sanderson angered local councillors in Brighton and Hove.
Its online rental return calculator showed how landlords in the city were making an average monthly income of £1,375 by renting their property, whereas Airbnb could pocket them £2,241 a month.