Renting vs Airbnb

Using data from SpareRoom, we’ve worked out the average monthly rental cost for one room in a city centre property, not including any additional bills. We’ve then multiplied that by 12 to get an annual rental income figure.

To get a comparison for Airbnb, we looked at the average cost for a mid-week, one-night stay in a private room in a city centre property. We then multiplied this figure by 52, to calculate how much a homeowner could earn on Airbnb if they hosted a guest one night per week.

Explore the full list of cities below.

Annual rent income
Annual AirBnB income
% Difference
Rent or Airbnb?
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Out of the 21 cities we looked at, Airbnb worked out as the more profitable option in seven of them. Homeowners in Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle could make more money listing their spare room on Airbnb one night per week, than if they rented it out full-time.

Cardiff came out as the most profitable city for Airbnb, with homeowners earning 86% more via Airbnb than traditional renting. Hosting a room on Airbnb for 52 nights a year in Cardiff would generate approximately £6,344, compared to an average rental income of just £3,408.

Belfast was the second most profitable city for Airbnb, with hosts earning approximately £4,108 on Airbnb - 39% more than the average rental income of £2,964.

Meanwhile, Cambridge came out as the least profitable city for Airbnb. Homeowners could expect to earn just £3,744 per year on Airbnb, 35% less than the average rental income of £5,772.

London came out as the best city for renting, with homeowners able to make £8,126 per year, compared to just £6,084 via Airbnb.

How much money could you make on Airbnb?

Find out how much money your spare room could make with our interactive calculator.

Simply select a city and number of nights to see the average Airbnb income for your location.

How many nights a year

you could make

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