AirBnB Still Growing in Berlin Despite Law

Apartment-sharing site AirBnB continues to grow in Berlin despite political attempts to halt the service in the face of the Hauptstadt’s acute residential real estate shortage.

San Francisco-based AirBnB saw bookings jump 68 percent last year over 2015 to 1.74 million in Berlin while overnight stays in hotels rose just 1 percent, according to a study by realtors Colliers International released Tuesday, March 7.

The increase gives AirBnB 8.5 percent of the market for vacation rentals, up from 5.3 percent in 2015, according to the study. The service was able to boost the number of residences on offer by 20 percent last year.

The growing numbers come just weeks after the Berlin government said its efforts to combat vacation rentals were bearing fruit. Under a new law — the Zweckentfremdungsverbot — residents must now seek approval from the government for converting apartments to vacation rentals and face fines if they do so without approval.

“The Zweckentfremdungsverbot works slowly but it’s a success for the state since it’s already returned nearly 2,000 vacation apartments to the long-term rental market,” the Berlin urban development office told Tagesspiegel.

Hotels accounted for about 31 million overnight stays last year, Berlin hotel association DeHoGa announced last month.

The Colliers study shows tourists pay less for an AirBnB rental — €62 per night versus an average €96 in a hotel.

Pankow, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg have the highest concentration of AirBnBs, according to the study.


Graphic thanks Colliers International

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