Is it just me or are Airbnb prices getting way out of hand?

I had this impression for a while now, but now it seems impossible to find a monthly stay over airbnb for a decent price. Just now I was looking at Utrecht which averages at 2500 euro per month for a studio. People seem to provide only small monthly discounts. In my last few trips I relied on Facebook groups for finding stay. I do have decent budget but paying €1500+ for a studio in a European city simply seems ridiculous. How is everyone else finding accommodation?

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Big cities everywhere (and especially Western Europe) are rapidly getting more expensive, both housing prices, rental prices, hotel prices and Airbnb prices.

EUR 1500 gets you a very average 1 bedroom place in Amsterdam now, if you sign a lease for 12 months.

You can usually get 25% off most Airbnb prices though, but I think you have to face the reality that Western European cities are simply not affordable anymore to live and they don’t give a lot of value for their price either.

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We’ve been using Airbnb for a few years now and have noticed some places are more expensive, but it depends on when your visiting and how you go about booking.

We were planning a stay in Split and cancelled last minute because of accommodation costs during peak. The prices were literally double off-season. Maybe you were catching the tail-end of peak?

Also, we message (don’t reserve w/ CC) 2-3 hosts asking them for a discount beyond their advertised monthly rate. This usually involves agreeing with the host to book on ABB for a day/week and then pay the rest in cash to side-step ABB fees.

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I’ll second what Levels said. I found Netherlands very very expensive and I’ve seen prices rising in other European cities as well (same thing for US cities, only at an even more rapid pace). I don’t think it’s Airbnb…I think it’s the overinflated markets.

I’m really noticing it! And it’s not helped by the rapidly dying GBP & Airbnb’s insistence on paying in your home currency and charging a 3% currency conversion (when all my cards are free to use in any currency).

I feel safer using Airbnb than say finding an apartment on Gumtree, but I am struggling to find apartments I can afford. I am still getting lucky though - I’ve got a good deal in Pula at the moment, but it took a lot of searching.

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We book short periods with Airbnb and then when we get there, we use local sources for finding longer term.

You’re right. Prices are outrageous.

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This really annoys me. They used to let you choose which currency you want to pay in, now they force you to pay in your home currency and pay the 3% on top of standard rates. For longer stays this can add up to be really significant on top of the already expensive Airbnb fees.

I used Airbnb in four different countries this year and in Budapest I felt cheated for first time using the platform. Normally I rent for 1 month completely and I try to get the home before arrive to the city.

Now, I’m in Budapest and I rented a room for 750€ (with a discount from the owner)… and my roommates have normal prices for long stay and are paying 250€ and 230€… so is x3 less the Airbnb prices.

Normally, I understand that we need to pay more for short or medium stay but that is so expensive.

I’m thinking to start with a new strategy but I think that if we want to get a “local price” we need to stay for long term or will be complicated.

Looking forward new websites or techniques for rent cheaper.

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That’s exactly the thing. Airbnb seems to be good only for weekend trips, anything more than a couple of weeks, I’m searching for an agent over Facebook groups. I agree that it should be more expensive for less than 3 month stay, but not 3x as much.

Wow, I thought Airbnb prices were getting too high too, even with the 10-50% monthly discounts offered. I’ve been traveling 100% for 2 years now and my experience with Airbnb has been great, except for the prices! (Hint: business opportunity to rent at slightly lower prices that someone needs to capitalize on, if Airbnb doesn’t put the brakes on)
Assuming you’re looking to rent the entire home and not a private room or shared, try this:
I started copying the photo image and searching online to find the host source (in many cases, it’s an agency not an individual) and found other listings for the same place at a lower price. Then I contact the host on Airbnb and offer to rent at the lower price (not mentioning I saw it listed elsewhere). Sometimes negotiating works, sometimes not. Then you have to factor in Airbnb fees, which I consider steep, but a fair price to pay for using their platform.
Also checked out HomeAway, Wimdu, Agoda, and other platforms but none are as easy to use as Airbnb.

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Tbh, when I started seeing bloggers posting about how to get cheaper Airbnbs, though negotiating lower prices, I wondered if hosts would start padding their prices to counteract that. If you expect that a high number of guests are going to hit you up for say a 20% discount then it would tempting to add 20% to your original price and then look like you’re offering a discount.

Airbnb must be making a killing though. Charge the guest fees, charge the host fees and get the payment sometimes months in advance!

I assume hosts use airbnb auto pricing tool which suggests and changes the price based on supply and demand. It’s questionable whether that algorithm takes into account the benefits of long term letting, or just attempts to maximise short term gain for the host.

I just make my own idea of the market price and the average occupancy rate a guest may have in a given city at a given time. From this I intuitively decide a price window that should indicate a host could rationally match my budget after negotiation. I then send a very straightforward and polite email stating my budget, requirements and the upsides of hosting us to any flat we like within this price window.

I totally agree! My husband and I have been staying in Split for over a month. We are staying in a three bedroom apartment (80msq) 5km outside of the town for $1750 USD per month on AirBnB. It is quite funny actually because the apartment was initially listed for $185 per night (and we thought it was ridiculous) but after our multiple negotiations, the owner came down to $58 per night because of its off peak season. But we are beginning to accept the fact that we will have to pay $1700-$2000 per month (for an entire apartment) in Croatia even during off peak season…

We are going to Australia next. If I must mention, by the way, AirBnB rental prices in Australia and NZ are outrageous! For an one bedroom apartment in Sydney/Brisbane, hosts are charging $3000-5000 per month and we couldn’t find a decent apartment for less than $2500 per month. So I did some more research out of frustration and found out that new and modern serviced apartments in the heart of the city (with weekly housekeeping) were much cheaper than AirBnB. And these serviced apartments can be booked through any third party travel agency sites (etc expedia, priceline or others) so you can cancel up to a few days prior to your arrival (Unlike AirBnB…even if you get refunds, AirBnB service charge is non-refundable).

I have a couple of suggestions, (1) what if we buy properties as community properties like a timeshare. We can find 12 or 24 people to buy an apartment, then each owns it for a month or two weeks per year, respectively.
(2) Or we find rental owners who are not computer savvy and we help them make their apartments more rental friendly for nomads and bring in customers (from our community). The owners will be happy because it’s better to have the room occupied (even for a cheaper price) than vacant.

What are your thoughts?

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Wow, this thread sure is a hot one :wink: I quite like @OCnormad’s idea about finding people to work with nomads. I’m not entirely sure how it would work but I’m pretty damn sure there is a gap in the market for something like that: a group of trusted renters who work together to help each other out.

This strategy won’t work for all places, but when I was looking for apartments for a 3 month stay in Berlin, I decided on a whim to just check out Craigslist…and found a ton of great options that were pretty significantly cheaper than the options on AirBNB. They also tended to be in the less touristy spots. We ended up going with a space in a neighborhood called Friedrichshain for 1200 euros/month. Still not cheap by normal Berlin standards at the time, but it was very nicely furnished, centrally located, and short-term — and cheaper than AirBNB listings, most of which would have cost us ~2000 euros or more per month.

Yep, the first time I lived in Tokyo, I found my place via Craiglist. Did have to sort through a lot of crap though, mainly commercial advertisers who had a ton of hidden charges not mentioned on the site. If you can find someone who is looking for a housemate or got a genuine sublet then it’s sweet.

I’ve also used Sakura House in Tokyo. They are one of the biggest agencies and are upfront about charges.

It might be good to get a list together of what works where. I might start another thread for that.

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The problem with AirBnB for 1 month or more is that most listings are optimized for a few days stays.

So if a bedroom rents for 300 eur / month in long term, if occupancy is around 60%, The apartment will likely be >600 for short term.

What I usually do is look for listings with decent monthly discounts, and if none available then start negotiating for long term stays, clearly showing them that renting for 30 days will give them 100% occupancy and save A LOT of hassle from moving people in and out.

For even longer stays (3 months or more), because I usually look for bedrooms, I contact the hosts if they’d like a mid-term housemate and if they can make a fair (regular) price.

@johndbritton and @WanderingJo get a Revolut credit card, free transactions, free card, free withdraws (!!!), and at fair exchange rates.

I’ve noticed this too. I’m trying to make only very short-term bookings via Airbnb now, and find local accommodation in the same way as the locals, which is pretty easy to do if you’re happy sharing a flat and have at least some command of the local language (it doesn’t take a lot). I also plan to do more house-sits in future.

There’s also a website called uniplaces.com which I just used in Barcelona to rent an apartment for 3-4 months - seems like they try to be something like airbnb but for longer stays (1 month is minimum). It’s actually them that are making all the photos, and the interface & offers descriptions are clear , which is cool, because avoids looking through all the bullshit agencies, badly-photographed apartments, hidden fees, and so on.

They describe themselves as ‘student accomodation’ but I think they forgot about us, digital nomads? =D

It only works in a couple cities in Europe for now though.

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