Short-term rentals are dominating Greek cities with the rise of platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway.
With Greece on a record run of tourism seasons and seen as the world’s top destination this summer, short-term rentals have engulfed whole city neighbourhoods, driving out long-term residents and spiking rents elsewhere.
The number of properties available as short-term rentals in Greece has soared from just 130 in 2010 to over 200,000 by the end of 2019, according to a survey by the Centre of Planning and Economic Research.
Greece is one of just a few countries in Europe that have not introduced any restrictions to short-term property rentals – or effectively enforced those that already exist, encouraging both Greek and overseas property investors to the market.
The absence of tax regulations and rules is making it difficult for renters to find a place, with the cost soaring and reversing a declining market during the financial crisis, and also threatening the long-term prospects for the short-term rentals market.
Data from AirDNA – a company that monitors short-term rental trends – found the supply of houses through the Airbnb and HomeAway platforms rose from December 2018 to December 2019 by 24 per cent.
The number of nights spent at such accommodation jumped by over 95 per cent, but the occupancy rate declined by about 15 per cent, showing a growing glut that could cut into revenues, especially if tourism doesn’t keep growing.
Greek tax authorities have moved to make the properties be registered and to include data listing the names of hosts with the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR) which could deactivate their websites if they fail to comply.
For the time being, however, the tax authorities are locked in discussions with the platforms over how above data will be supplied, according to sources, meaning that that crosschecking the data and identifying undeclared incomes remains impossible for as long as the talks drag on.
Greece currently still has no time limitations to short-term rentals per property, unlike in most other developed countries.