Parisians struggle to cash in on Olympic Games rentals

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Parisians aiming to cash in on the Olympic Games by renting out their apartments are struggling to lock in bookings as a glut of listings comes on the market, pushing down prices.

Only about one-third of available Airbnb rentals for the Paris area have so far been booked during the Olympics, according to data analytics group AirDNA, while 3,000 to 3,500 new listings are coming online each month.

Many Parisians intend to flee the city during the games, which start on July 26, as an expected 15mn people visit the capital, according to tourism officials. However, their plans to rent their homes to tourists at high prices during the sacrosanct French August holiday period are being dashed as supply outstrips demand.

Stefania, a banker living in Paris’s trendy 10th arrondissement, has been renting out the studio next to her apartment on Airbnb for the past year and half. “Normally it books very fast, but I opened it a month ago for July and August bookings and so far there are none,” she said. 

She usually charges €150 a night, but for the two-and-half weeks of the Olympics she had put it up to €250. The lack of bookings “seems unusual for what I thought would be a period of heavy demand, but that €100 is not going to make or break my day”, Stefania said.

“I figure it will rent eventually but we might have to lower the price.”

She is not the only one having to reconsider pricing. While the average price being asked by would-be Airbnb hosts in Paris is €594, the average nightly rate for booked accommodations for the Olympic period is €323 according to AirDNA.

Airbnb, which is also an official partner for the Olympics, remains optimistic about the opportunity it offers hosts.

Tens of thousands of new hosts have listed accommodations in the cities hosting Olympic events since the start of 2023, according to the company. A Deloitte study commissioned by the company estimates that the average host in the Paris region will generate €2,000 in additional income during the games. 

“Paris 2024 is set to be the biggest hosting event in Airbnb history, with more guests staying in local homes on our platform than at any event, ever before,” the company said. “Thousands of people in host cities have opened their homes for the first time, and more than half of listings that have received a booking did so in less than seven days.”

But securing those bookings remains challenging, as blocks of hotel rooms previously set aside for Olympic delegations also come on the market.

Hotels have started to drop prices as well, as they compete for occupancy, according to tourism specialist Olivier Petit at consultancy In Extenso. While London built around 7,000 new hotel rooms for its Olympics in 2012, Paris has only added around 2,000 rooms, according to Petit.

“In the short term this could be a bit challenging for hotels . . . but in the medium term it’s much better to have a flexible stock of Airbnb oversupply as opposed to permanent expansion of hotel room stock that constantly needs to be filled,” he said. 

Many would-be Olympic rental hosts are likely to be disappointed. There has been “an explosion of the supply” across holiday rental platforms including Airbnb, Abritel and, according to Lycaon Immo co-founder Stéphane Daumillare, who says there are currently about 15,000 available bookings across these platforms. 

“Those who had a lot of budget and were organised have already booked during the period when prices were very high in November and December, making prices go up,” he said. 

Now as the offer explodes, “we’ve seen prices coming down for the past three months”, said Daumillare. He estimates that only about one in four of the listings available will be booked for at least three nights during the Olympics. 

“The market is becoming more rational. The train has left the station for extremely high priced bookings,” Daumillare said. However, “there will still be opportunities for later bookings because in addition to normal tourists, there will be people who come for the Olympics and then stay for tourism.”

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