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Short-term rentals have grown by 58%

02 August, Il Sole 24 Ore

In the last ten years, short-term rentals have increased by 58%, as renting to tourists has become a solid business. The numbers come from Istat concerning 2017 and were processed by Solo Affitti Brevi, a Solo Affitti brand dedicated to short-term rentals. The total number of houses rented short-term has gone from 68,129 in 2008 to 107,366 at present.

It’s a remarkable result, as it pictures a growing trend. Tecnocasa had already detected the trend, having reported between 2013 and 2017 a sharp increase of purchases of properties for investment, going from 18.2% to 29.3% in the province of Milan, from 27.9% to 41.1% in Naples,  from 29.1% to 46.5% in Cagliari, and from 16% to 33,9% in Verona. Moreover, all the tourist destinations, from Garda lake to Cilento and the Amalfi coast, have reported a significant growth. Such properties were purchased with the intention to rent them short-term, as this is considered easier to manage rather than B&B.

However, we must not confuse the report by Solo Affitti with the total of short-term rentals currently present in Italy, considering that Airbnb alone has about 80,000 hosts in the country. The figures reported by Istat refer to the “capacity of hospitality businesses” included in the group “accommodations for rent professionally managed” under the category “non-hotel facilities” (plus the addition the category “holiday houses” which Istat uses to refer to summer camps and holiday houses owned by companies or associations). The data are sourced by regions, municipalities and autonomous provinces.

Many business owners are not registered, although they fully comply with the law, as the criteria applying to this type of business depend on the local regulations, which are usually based on the number of properties. For instance, in Lombardy, (Regional Law 1 October 2015, n. 27), it’s possible to rent to tourists without registering if renting up to a maximum of three properties and not in a continuous way (not more than 207 days a year).

Campania is the region that registered the sharpest increase. According to Solo Affitti Brevi, the properties in Campania have grown from 819 to 7,291, followed by Basilicata (+645%, from 74 to 551) and Lombardy, where apartments have increased by 482% (reaching 5,626). All the regions with popular tourist destinations have seen the number of rentals nearly doubling: Emilia-Romagna (+378%, from 1,700 to 8,124), Lazio (+238%, from 1,551 to 5,235), Puglia (+212%, from 498 to 1,554), Calabria (+157%, from 143 to 368), Sardinia (+152%, from 310 to 780), and Sicily (+109%, from 754 to 1,574). Meanwhile, the number of beds has also grown (+22%, from 728,650 to 890,172), especially in the provinces of Ferrara (from 109 registered apartments to 3,479), Bergamo (from 42 to 902), Matera (from 27 to 429), Salerno (from 406 to 6021), and Taranto (from 17 to 166).

“The offer has significantly grown in the last three years”, explained Alessandro Leder, head of Solo Affitti Brevi, with a network of 300 branches and a potential turnover estimated around 27 million euro. “Whereas in 2015 the supply was still very limited in comparison with the demand, the offer now is so broad that in some areas prices have reduced. In cities such as Bologna, Florence and Trieste, many landlords prefer to rent short-term rather than long-term”.

For what concerns the rents with the most interesting returns, according to the top 20 by CaseVacanza.it, Elba island is first, with an average price per night of 300 euro, Palau (Sassari)  is second with 272 euro, followed by San Gimignano (Siena) with 246 euro. Sardinia has the highest concentration of upscale destinations (8), followed by Tuscany (6). The Adriatic coast is more convenient featuring Riccione (Rn) at 147 euro a night, and Polignano a Mare (Ba) and Numana (An) at 180 euro.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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