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14 June, 2024

2% of homes in Cyprus used as Airbnb accommodations

Regulatory concerns arise amidst housing shortages and economic opportunities


A recent report reveals that a staggering 2% of homes in Cyprus are being utilized as accommodations on Airbnb, highlighting concerns about housing availability and regulatory oversight. The data, focused solely on Airbnb listings, signifies a larger trend of properties being transformed into investment assets rather than meeting housing needs.

According to Kathimerini reporter Maria Eracleous, with 8,510 homes listed on Airbnb alone, it's estimated that the total number of residences used for tourism purposes nationwide could be as high as 16,000. This surge in short-term rental properties is underscored by the revelation that only about 6,700 accommodations are officially registered with the State Ministry of Tourism.

The financial allure of Airbnb is evident, with earnings varying significantly across regions. Analysis from AirDNA indicates that in popular tourist destinations like Famagusta and Paphos, annual earnings can range from €13,000 to €63,000 per year per accommodation. In Ayia Napa and Protaras, for example, average annual incomes soared by 27% and 43% respectively compared to the previous year, reaching up to €62,900.

However, the financial gains come with social and economic implications. Low-value properties and smaller units being snapped up for short-term rentals contribute to housing shortages, exacerbating affordability issues for residents. Moreover, the incomplete registration of accommodations with the State Ministry of Tourism poses challenges for proper monitoring and tax collection.

Pavlos Loizou, CEO of AskWire, emphasized the growing trend of property owners seeking secondary incomes through platforms like Airbnb, leading to a drain in the available housing stock. The situation has prompted calls for stricter regulations and enhanced monitoring to ensure compliance and alleviate housing concerns.

Chrissaimili Psilogeni, Director General of the State Tourism Enterprise Company (STEC), emphasized the urgency of revising regulatory frameworks to address short-term rental practices. Suggestions include implementing restrictions on rental days and operational areas, particularly in regions facing housing shortages.

As Cyprus grapples with the evolving landscape of short-term rentals, stakeholders advocate for a balanced approach that safeguards housing accessibility while harnessing the economic potential of tourism. Efforts to streamline regulations and enhance oversight are crucial in addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by the burgeoning short-term rental market.

Cyprus  |  tourism  |  AirBnb  |  hotels

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