And finally…Airbnb landlords spend profits on holidays

More landlords who rent out their homes on ‘Airbnb-style’ websites spend their takings on holidays than reinvest their earnings in home improvement projects, according to new research.

A study by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) into the spending patterns of landlords who use short-term holiday rental sites found that 43 per cent said they used the funds for holidays and 25 per cent put the cash towards a car.

Almost a quarter bought concert tickets or paid for other entertainment and 10 per cent bought clothes. Only 40 per cent said they reinvested their earnings in home improvement projects.

The key results from the FMB’s research found:

  • 43 per cent spend the money on holidays;
  • 40 per cent spend the money on home improvement work;
  • 25 per cent put the money towards a new car;
  • 23 per cent spend the extra cash on entertainment, such as ticketed events;
  • 23 per cent save the money;
  • 17 per cent use the money to make ends meet;
  • 10 per cent spend the extra cash on new clothes.

The research also found that 3 per cent of British homeowners (around 800,000) are renting their own homes out on ‘Airbnb-style’ websites, with 16 per cent interested in renting their homes out in this way in the future – this would equate to more than three and a half million additional properties.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, took the positives out of the research which he said shows the sharing economy is helping home owners fund their refurbishment projects.

He said: “Money that was previously channelled into the hospitality industry is now lining the pockets of home owners, providing them with much-needed cash for home improvement work. This is good news for the UK’s builders and helps explain why small construction firms are reporting strong growth in the domestic refurbishment despite Brexit jitters.

“Airbnb says that globally, it gains 14,000 new landlords each month on its own platform alone. If this trend continues, and if homeowners remain committed to investing the extra cash in repairing and maintaining their properties, rather than blowing the money on cars and clothes, it will stand the construction industry in good stead in the future.”