The Short-Let Property Market in London


The short-let property market in London has experienced significant growth and popularity in recent years, driven by short-let platforms like Airbnb. The current state of the market is buoyant from our experience, but determining profitability is something unique to individual property owners. We have systems that can optimise your pricing for example, which would increase your returns over time…

Let’s look at factors such as demand, rental rates, regulations, and competition, and see if we can’t gain some valuable insights into the financial prospects of your short-term rentals in London.

Demand and Occupancy Rates

London remains one of the most visited cities globally, attracting millions of tourists, business travellers, and students each year. This steady inflow of visitors creates a consistent demand for short-term accommodation options. 

Popular areas such as Westminster, Camden, and Kensington are particularly sought after. Occupancy rates for well-located and well-maintained short-let properties in these areas tend to be high, especially during peak tourist seasons and major events.

Rental Rates and Seasonal Fluctuations

The rental rates for short-let properties in London vary depending on location, property size, amenities, and seasonal demand. Generally, prime locations and properties with desirable features command higher rates. However, it’s worth noting that rental rates can fluctuate significantly throughout the year due to seasonal demand patterns. Major events, festivals, and holidays often drive up prices, while off-peak periods may experience lower rates and increased competition.

Regulations and Compliance

The short-let property market in London is subject to regulatory frameworks aimed at balancing the needs of homeowners, local communities, and the housing market. The Greater London Authority (GLA) and individual borough councils have implemented regulations to ensure compliance, limit the impact on housing availability, and address concerns about community cohesion. It is crucial for homeowners to familiarise themselves with these regulations and obtain necessary permits or licenses to legally operate short-term rentals.

Competition and Market Dynamics

London’s short-let property market is highly competitive, with a substantial number of hosts vying for bookings. As a result, it is essential to differentiate your property by offering unique features, exceptional hospitality, and competitive pricing. Effective marketing strategies, positive reviews, and strong online presence are crucial for attracting guests and achieving profitability. It’s worth noting that the increasing popularity of short-term rentals has led to a rise in professionally managed properties and serviced apartments, adding to the competitive landscape.

Costs and Considerations

While the short-let property market in London can be highly profitable, it is important to consider the associated costs. 

Property owners should account for expenses such as:

  • property maintenance, 
  • utilities, 
  • cleaning services, 
  • guest amenities, 
  • insurance, 
  • operational management, 
  • platform optimisation, 
  • dynamic pricing, 
  • and marketing efforts. 

Additionally, homeowners must allocate time and resources for guest communication, check-ins, and property management or engage professional property management agents like Michael D’Rews.

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) requires careful consideration of all these factors but we focus on ensuring that our clients are profitable.

Concluding Thoughts

The short-let property market in London offers promising opportunities for property owners seeking additional income streams. With high demand, favourable rental rates, and a constant influx of visitors, profitability is attainable. However, it is crucial to navigate the regulatory landscape, differentiate your property, manage competition effectively, and consider the associated costs to ensure a successful and sustainable short-term rental business.

We can help guide you with the interior design and with the marketing and management of your property, across a range of short-let platforms.


It is important to conduct detailed market research, consult local regulations, and seek professional advice before entering the short-let property market in London or any other location. 

If you would like to book a call with our consultants to discuss any aspect of letting properties on a short-term basis on sites such as Airbnb in London, please get in touch today.

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