Tower Hamlets and Hackney are London’s most popular areas among Airbnb users according to a new poll.
The findings reveal a switch in tourists’ preferences, as visitors seem to be choosing cheaper properties with decent transport links and located further away from the center rather than in the middle of the city.
Airbnb is a company that provides an online property marketplace, and gives owners an opportunity to rent their properties and set out the price, only taking a small fee from every transaction.
The data released by short-term let management company My Property Host shows that 94 percent of properties in Tower Hamlets and 90 percent in Hackney are booked within the time the houses in the area are available for reservation, compared to 86 per cent registered in the City or 75 per cent in Westminster.
There is also a significant difference in the average price of Airbnb properties, when it comes to their location. The average price in Tower Hamlets varies from £61 per night in Bow to £76 in Whitechapel, while prices in Hackney also vary from £63 in Stamford Hill to £88 in Shoreditch.
The traditional tourist quarters such a Westminster, City or Kensington are more expensive, with an average rental price of £100+ per night.
Apart from their affordability, both Hackney and Tower Hamlets have good transport links to central London.
Elena Lopez, managing director of My Property Host, said: “Hackney’s popularity is driven by its global reputation as a hipster hub. It’s a rich cultural hotspot for the arts, with fantastic food and an eclectic nightlife. So it’s no surprise that tourists are drawn to stay in one of the trendiest, most desirable locations in London. Be it Shoreditch or Dalston – the quirky, artsy vibe of the borough is often reflected in the character of its Airbnb properties too.”
Elena Lopez thinks that Airbnb properties offer visitors a different kind of experience than hotels, and guests tend to appreciate that.
“The explosion in East London’s tech sector also means that Hackney is a useful base for people coming to Silicon Roundabout on business. Airbnb properties in Hackney are invariably more quirky and appealing than anonymous London hotels – and can make business trips feel that little bit more homelier and fun.
“As Hackney’s neighbour, Tower Hamlets has a similar artsy and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Its good transport links make it appeal to both tourists and professionals coming to London for meetings in Canary Wharf or the City”, she added.
Properties reviews left by Airbnb users seem to prove the point. While still giving positive feedbacks, most of the reviews tend to focus aspects such as the unique atmosphere or the artsy locations.
Rosie, who stayed in one of Shoreditch’s most popular property – a £450 a night loft penthouse, commented: “I wish I lived there it’s the coolest place ever. The swing is definitely a center point for the selfies! The owners are so friendly and lovely. And the doggy is the cutest thing ever.”
The figures do belie serious issues facing the boroughs’ residents, being Tower Hamlets one of the more deprived areas of the UK.
A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: “With soaring prices, the fastest growing population in the country and around 20,000 people on our council housing waiting list, here in Tower Hamlets, we are the front line of the housing crisis.
“The shortage, cost and quality of housing in the capital is exacerbating the cost of living and making it harder and harder for families to live in London. This problem hits hard in Tower Hamlets given the generally high levels of growth, poverty and deprivation in the borough.”