Parisians struggle to profit from Olympic rentals

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Parisians aiming to profit from the Olympic Games by renting out their apartments are struggling to block bookings as a glut of listings hits the market, pushing down prices.

According to data analytics group AirDNA, only about a third of available Airbnb rentals for the Paris area have so far been booked during the Olympics, while 3,000 to 3,500 new listings come online each month.

Many Parisians plan to flee the city during the games, which begin on July 26, as 15 million people are expected to visit the capital, according to tourism officials. However, their plans to rent out their homes to tourists at high prices during the sacrosanct French August holiday period are being dashed as supply exceeds demand.

Stefania, a banker who lives in the trendy 10th arrondissement of Paris, has been renting the studio apartment next to her apartment on Airbnb for a year and a half. “It normally books up very quickly, but I opened it a month ago for July and August reservations and so far there are none,” she said.

He usually asks for 150 euros a night, but for the two and a half weeks of the Olympics he had raised the price to 250 euros. The lack of reservations “seems unusual for what I thought would be a period of high demand, but that 100 euros won’t make or break my day,” Stefania said.

“I imagine it will be rented eventually, but we may have to lower the price.”

She’s not the only one having to reconsider prices. While the average price asked by aspiring Airbnb hosts in Paris is 594 euros, the average rate per night for accommodations booked for the Olympic period is 323 euros according to AirDNA.

Airbnb, which is also an official partner of the Olympics, remains optimistic about the opportunities it offers hosts.

According to the company, since the beginning of 2023, tens of thousands of new hosts have posted accommodations in cities hosting Olympic events. According to a study commissioned by Deloitte, the average guest in the Paris region will generate 2,000 euros in additional revenue during the games.

“Paris 2024 is set to become the largest hosting event in Airbnb history, with more guests staying in local homes on our platform than any event ever seen before,” the company said. “Thousands of people in host cities opened their homes for the first time, and more than half of listings that received a reservation did so in less than seven days.”

But securing such reservations remains a challenge, as blocks of hotel rooms previously reserved for Olympic delegations also come onto the market.

Hotels have also started to lower prices, as they compete for occupancy, according to tourism specialist Olivier Petit of consultancy In Extenso. While London built about 7,000 new hotel rooms for the 2012 Olympics, Paris added only about 2,000, according to Petit.

“In the short term this could be a little challenging for hotels. . . but in the medium term it is much better to have a flexible stock of Airbnb oversupply than a permanent expansion of the stock of hotel rooms that constantly needs to be filled,” she said.

Many would-be Olympic guests will likely be disappointed. There has been “an explosion of supply” across holiday rental platforms including Airbnb, Abritel and, according to Lycaon Immo co-founder Stéphane Daumillare, who says there are currently around 15,000 bookings available on these platforms.

“Those who had a lot of budget and were organized already booked during the period when prices were very high in November and December, driving prices up,” he said.

Now that supply is exploding, “we’ve seen prices come down over the last three months,” Daumillare said. He estimates that only one in four of the available accommodations will be booked for at least three nights during the Olympics.

“The market is becoming more rational. The train left the station for reservations at extremely high prices,” Daumillare said. However, “there will still be the possibility of subsequent bookings because in addition to normal tourists there will be people who come for the Olympics and then stay for tourism.”

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