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COVID-19 Vaccine to Drive Airbnb Occupancy Rate Recovery in September 2021

by Sylvia Shalhout
Key Takeaways
  1. Mashvisor’s data analysis reveals that Airbnb occupancy rates won’t begin their post-COVID-19 recovery until September 2021.
  2. This follows health officials’ estimated timeline of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States.
  3. Airbnb daily rates, however, will continue to climb all throughout 2021, with the national average surpassing $200 in August.
COVID-19 Vaccine to Drive Airbnb Occupancy Rate Recovery in September 2021

Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company, conducted an analysis of historical Airbnb data in order to forecast the effect of the coronavirus vaccine on the vacation rental market in 2021. The analysis took into account how COVID-19 affected both Airbnb occupancy rates and daily rates in 2020 for over 160 US cities. 

Mashvisor found that, while Airbnb occupancy rates will experience smaller year over year declines each month in 2021, the national average rate won’t hit the benchmark for recovery until September. At which point, 2021 Airbnb occupancy rates will match those of 2020, at a forecasted rate of 61.1%.

Airbnb occupancy rate 2021 vs 2020

The driving factor for this slow recovery will be the gradual rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although a vaccine has been approved and was made available to some of the population by the end of last year, health officials expect that it won’t be widely available to the public until late 2021. 

The CDC initially reported that “all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021.” However, the site has now changed this estimation to say that The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available.” At the same time, other officials expect that the vaccine will be available to those who are not considered “high-risk” individuals by the spring or summer of 2021. 

This general timeline of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout confirms Mashvisor’s findings – it’s not likely that travel and Airbnb bookings will begin to return to normal until most of the public has been vaccinated. In fact, in a recent report, the US Travel Association found that the travel industry won’t see a full return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. However, the start of the recovery is estimated to take place in 2021.

Although Airbnb occupancy rates will take more than half of the year to get on the path to recovery, daily rates will fare much better in 2021. As hosts continue to deal with lower occupancy rates at the beginning of the year, they are likely to charge more in order to ensure they are generating enough revenue. By summer 2021, when travel picks up thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine and demand for vacation rental properties begins to spike, hosts will continue to push daily rates higher to meet the rising demand. 

Because of these forecasted trends as well as historical trends, Mashvisor’s data analysis predicts that 2021 average Airbnb daily rates will surpass those in 2020 every month of the year, reaching a high of over $200 in August.

Airbnb daily rate 2021 vs 2020

Methodology

Mashvisor has been collecting data on Airbnb listings annually since 2014. Our vast Airbnb database now spans across over 2 million listings with data covering aspects like calendar bookings, host information, Airbnb reviews, and more.

For this Airbnb Market Forecast 2021, Mashvisor’s data analysts looked at historical Airbnb data for both occupancy rates and daily rates for 169 US cities. Taking into account how the coronavirus pandemic impacted these values in 2020, a 2021 forecast was derived.  

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