Summer is considered peak tourism for many U.S. states, and Airbnb hosts can typically charge a premium for stays during the high season.
But since the pandemic has dramatically altered travel plans, summer 2020 prices won’t be what they were in year’s past. Hosts have slashed daily rates as much as $90 on average, according to new survey results from IPX1031, a qualified intermediary infirm, that indicate that the short-term rental industry has been crippled since March’s varying degrees of travel restrictions.
Americans who once relied on Airbnb for income are feeling pinched by the tailwind effects of COVID-19. Hosts have reported average losses of over $4,000 since the pandemic and paint a bleak outlook heading into summer vacations while the majority of guests are reluctant to stay in short-term rentals.
Since the pandemic started, almost two-thirds of guests either have canceled or plan to cancel an Airbnb booking. But even as states are in different phases of reopening businesses and retailers, Americans are still shy about jumping back into their old ways of traveling.
Even with deeply discounted prices, hosts expect a 44% decrease in high season revenue, earning around $6,760, down from the pre-pandemic expectation of $12,000.
The lost revenue has contributed to hosts finding another job to supplement their finances (42%), compensation for lost revenue (26%), and missed mortgage payments (16%).
Fear is shared between hosts and guests
Travelers are looking for alternative methods of travel and lodging this summer, while social distancing measures are still recommended by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. While guests are fearful about mixing and mingling with others or staying in short-term rentals like Airbnb, it’s a two-way street because hosts also carry some of that same worry.
Seven in 10 guests are concerned about staying at an Airbnb right now, while almost 5 in 10 hosts don't feel safe renting to guests.
The future of Airbnb and short-term rentals
Uncertainty remains around if and when the country’s pre-pandemic lifestyle activities will resume. As the virus now gains momentum in Arizona and Florida and experts warn of a second wave of infections, that casts a negative shadow for hosts. Forty-five percent reported that if the virus lingers for another six months, they won’t be able to sustain operating costs.
The long-term change could mean a decrease in inventory because 1 in 5 hosts aren’t sure if they’ll return to hosting after the pandemic.
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