Vacation rental supply evolution in top cities & the impact of regulations

Vacation rentals are primed for another golden age, and supply can tell the story. We take a look at the vacation rental supply evolution we’ve tracked in top cities from January 2019 to November 2021, including the pandemic. We also analyse the impact of regulations on inventory in those cities under most regulatory pressure.

Vacation rental supply evolution in top cities

We took the 500 largest vacation rental cities in the world and analysed their supplies from January 2019 to October 2021. The flourish race chart below shows the supply evolution of the top 20 vacation rental cities globally (by total inventory). The first thing to note here is that the top 20 changes as we work through the timeline, so the ‘top 20’ actually features 29 different countries.

To view the graphic full screen, click here.

The biggest locations

London is by far the biggest city in the world for short-term rentals (36,000 listings in October 2021). Europe is also the continent with most listings, and European cities feature most often in the top 20 (9). These are mostly the capitals of major supply nations, plus Milan, Barcelona and St.Petersburg.

North America brings 8 cities to the top 20; we learn about vacation rental supply evolution in New York City, Los Angeles (LA) and Kissimmee. Also classified under North America are Mexico City, Playa del Carmen, Havana, Montreal and Toronto.

China, perhaps logically, sees the most of its cities in the mix (8), while other cities represented are Dubai, Cape Town, Bogota and Rio de Janeiro.

The fastest growing locations

Of the top vacation rental nations, China has seen the most supply growth since 2018. However, more recently many major Chinese cities have experienced inventory shrinkage; indeed 5 of the 8 featured cities have significantly reduced in supply.

While Guangzhou & Playa del Carmen have maintained supply levels, in fact only 6 of the cities of the 29 featuring in our top 20 have experienced positive growth since January 2019. Those cities include Bogota and Kissimmee as well as 2 Chinese cities.

The real winners however are Dubai and Mexico City (47% and 45% growth respectively between Jan 2019 and Oct 2021). In Dubai, inventory had been growing fairly steadily, yet 16% growth was seen since April alone, potentially ahead of the rescheduled Expo ‘2020’. The majority of growth in Mexico City meanwhile was seen in 2019.

The impact of COVID-19 on vacation rental supply

Here the numbers tell the story…

Between January 2019 and January 2021, the average growth across the 29 cities featuring in our top 20 was 104%. Every single location saw positive growth in terms of vacation rental supply.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, during which time the world was gripped by the pandemic, the average ‘growth’ was -17%. On Dubai saw positive growth (6%), all other cities lost short-term rentals.

COVID-19 has clearly had a heavy impact on vacation rental supply worldwide. The good news is, this is starting to normalise.

The impact of regulations on vacation rental supply evolution

In this section we concentrate on those cities facing significant regulatory pressure; Paris, LA, NYC, Barcelona, San Diego and Toronto. The chart below shows % change in supply from January 2019, and compares with the average growth seen across the full top 500 cities.

The top 500 cities have averaged at 49% growth in vacation rentals over the last 33 months. 6 of the most heavily regulated cities globally however, were almost a third smaller on average (30%) in October 2021 than in January 2019.

Interestingly, while New York City and Los Angeles were the most affected (-40%), our other US city San Diego was least changed (-8%).

From this data overview, the indication is that regulation has a significant impact on vacation rental supply.


The power of vacation rental data

The above story was told using our vacation rental data, analysing over 35 million listings worldwide.

To learn how you can harness our data to improve your performance - whether you're a property manager, hotel, DMO or other industry player, click the button. OR, enjoy related data stories:

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