Book Your Stay
get estimate
Do you want our team to reach out to you?
Unlocking Your Property's Full Potential since 2016
The Insider's guide to Airbnb occupancy rates in London
Table of Contents:

The Insider's guide to Airbnb occupancy rates in London


As one of the globe's must-see destinations, London boasts a vibrant combination of rich history, diverse culture, and contemporary style. making it a hotspot for tourists and a profitable opportunity for Airbnb hosts. If you're a property owner in this vibrant metropolis, you know that the Airbnb market here is as bustling as the city itself. But in such a competitive landscape, how do you make your listing stand out? Understanding the complexities of Airbnb occupancy rates in London can be your key to unlocking higher income and a consistent flow of satisfied guests.

In this extensive blog, we'll peel back the curtain on the statistical trends that shape London's Airbnb market. We will provide you with both the data and an in-depth analysis of what it means for you as a host. Are certain neighborhoods more profitable than others? What impact do seasons and holidays have on occupancy? How do amenities and reviews factor into the equation? We’ll answer all these questions and more.

And because we know that numbers are just part of the story, we'll offer you practical, actionable steps to boost your listing’s occupancy rate and overall appeal. We'll reveal some insider secrets, tips and strategies that successful Airbnb hosts use to keep their properties booked year-round.

But that's not all! We'll also introduce you to how Smarthost can take your hosting game to the next level. From strategic pricing and 24/7 customer support to professional cleaning and maintenance, we'll show you how our comprehensive property management services can help you achieve Airbnb stardom.

So if you're keen to maximize your profits and deliver an exceptional guest experience, this is one blog you won't want to miss.


An in-depth analysis of London's Airbnb occupancy rates

We conducted an in-depth analysis of average Airbnb occupancy rates across 500 cities in the UK with the main focus on London to provide Airbnb hosts with important data and insights. Our aim? To help you understand what it takes to maximise the occupancy rates of your listings in this dynamic city.

The broad view of UK-wide metrics

To set the stage, let's begin with a glance at the bigger picture. Across the UK, an occupancy rate above 65% is considered favorable. Although it's uncommon, there are sporadic instances where listings achieve as high as 75% occupancy, but these are usually outliers. The average occupancy rate for all UK Airbnb properties—regardless of whether they're full-time or part-time—rests at 48%. Properties operating full-time with occupancy rates below 50% typically find themselves falling behind.

Focusing on London as a unique market

Interesting fact, since 2015, Airbnb listings in London have increased by 276%, going from 42,000 to 156,000 in 2023. With an average occupancy rate ranging between 70-75%, it significantly outperforms the nationwide average. However, not all areas within the capital are created equal. Central London properties can enjoy occupancy rates peaking at approximately 80%.

But please note, that the occupancy rates aren't static; they see notable fluctuations based on the season and special events. During holidays or major city-wide events, London's occupancy rates can surge to near-full capacity. Timing your listings to coincide with these peaks can provide a significant boost to your revenue.

Occupancy rates, adjusted occupancy rates & vacancy rates

When it comes to property management in the short let industry, understanding the various metrics that impact your business is vital. Unlike traditional lettings, which have a straightforward booked or vacant status, the short let rental market adds another layer of complexity: the option to 'block' your listing. Here's a breakdown of these essential metrics and what they mean for your property's performance.

1) Occupancy rate: more than just bookings

Traditionally, the occupancy rate measures the number of days a property is booked over a specific period, usually a month. For instance, if your property is booked for 12 days out of a 30-day month, the occupancy rate is 40% (12/30). This basic measure is a good starting point, but it doesn't tell the full story.

2) Adjusted occupancy rate: the real picture

Enter the Adjusted Occupancy Rate, also known as the Booking Rate. This metric gives you a more accurate reading by considering only the days your property was actually available for booking. So, if your listing is booked for 12 days, vacant for another 12, and blocked for 6 days in a 30-day month, your adjusted occupancy rate becomes 50% (12/24). This paints a more precise picture of how well you're using your available dates.

3) Vacancy rate: the other side of the coin

While the occupancy rate tells you how well you're doing, the vacancy rate reveals opportunities for improvement. It calculates the number of days your listing is unoccupied but available for bookings. For example, if your property is vacant for 5 days in a 30-day month, the vacancy rate would be 16.7% (5/30). A lower vacancy rate typically means you are utilizing your property's potential efficiently.

Key takeaways

  1. Occupancy Rate: Useful, but not the end-all-be-all.
  2. Adjusted Occupancy Rate: A more refined metric that accounts for blocked dates, offering a clearer view of performance.
  3. Vacancy Rate: Shows the unoccupied potential of your property, helping you identify areas for improvement.

By understanding and monitoring these metrics, you can make informed decisions that will help optimize your property's earning potential. if you need professional guidance, we've got you covered. At Smarthost, we offer unmatched expertise in key rental metrics. Using real-time data and advanced tools, we provide actionable insights to boost your property's performance and unlock its full earning potential.

How can you improve your occupancy rate?

When it comes to occupancy rate optimisation in London's competitive short-letting market, pricing is often a crucial factor. Our comprehensive guide on smart pricing will guarantee that your property stands out and exceeds expectations.

 Know your neighbours, price wisely

First and foremost, understanding the pricing strategy in your area is key. Being overpriced can leave you out of the game while underpricing can make potential guests suspicious of your listing's quality. The goal is to offer competitive rates that are a win-win for both you and your guests. 

At Smarthost, we combine real-time analytics with industry insights to help you achieve the perfect pricing strategy, ensuring your property's best performance. Get in touch with us today, and let's unlock your property's full potential.

Seasonal strategy

Seasonality plays a huge role in London’s short-let market. During peak tourist seasons, demand is high—so your prices should reflect that. On the flip side, the off-season offers a different kind of opportunity. Lowering your rates can attract budget-conscious travellers looking for a deal, ensuring you maintain a healthy occupancy rate year-round. 

Special offers and bundles

Who doesn't love a good deal? Offering special promotions or bundled experiences can make your property a go-to choice for experienced travellers. This not only boosts your off-season bookings but also provokes positive reviews, enhancing your reputation as a top-tier host. 

Open your calendar ahead

The modern traveller loves to plan in advance. Keep your calendar open for a full year to catch those early birds. This is especially beneficial for off-season months, giving you a head start on filling those vacancies.

Flexible stays & instant book

Short stays? Long weekends? Be flexible with your minimum stay rules to appeal to a broader range of travellers, from weekend warriors to month-long vacationers.

Instant booking is a user-friendly option that lets guests book your property straight away, boosting your listing's visibility and performance. Two-thirds of Airbnb reservations use Instant Book, making it a game-changer for new and seasoned hosts alike. Once you've built up positive reviews, you have the flexibility to switch off Instant Book and be more selective. Trust us, it's the fast track to increasing your occupancy rates.

Photos & description

First impressions are everything in the short-letting world. With professional photos, Airbnb hosts see a 40% rise in earnings and a 24% boost in occupancy. But don't stop there—your property description is your next selling point. The right words can make your listing irresistible. Whether you're offering a "modern, chic" city flat or a "cozy, quaint" country house, language matters.

 At Smarthost, we offer professional photography and expert copywriting services to make your property shine. We understand the nuances of the short-letting market and craft descriptions that captivate your target audience. Get in touch to elevate your property appeal.

Write & encourage reviews

The value of a single good review is hard to overestimate. It can make your property stand out from the rest of the pack.  Before checkout, kindly ask guests to share their experiences. We've found that a simple, friendly ask often does the trick—and it's become standard practice in the industry.

But the magic really starts with your guest experience. We advise hosts to be proactive: keep lines of communication open, stock your home with quality amenities, and share your local knowledge. Make their stay unforgettable, and positive reviews will follow.

Become a superhost

If you’re looking to increase your occupancy rates, become an Airbnb super host. While you have to meet certain requirements in terms of cancellation rates and response rates, the enhanced visibility on Airbnb can lead to more bookings and higher occupancy rates.

Consider using a property manager

Another option to consider is partnering with a professional Airbnb property management service to fully realize your listing's potential. This is where Smarthost comes into play. As experts in the field, we remove all the guesswork and complexities of managing your property. Leveraging real-time analytics and a wealth of industry experience, we optimize every facet of your listing for maximum profitability and visibility. From meticulous property upkeep to seamless guest communication, we handle it all, setting you on a path to effortless earnings. Join the Smarthost family today.


In conclusion, succeeding in London's competitive Airbnb market requires more than just listing your property and hoping for the best. It demands a thorough understanding of the market dynamics, a strategic pricing model, engaging property descriptions, pro photos, and stellar guest experiences. And let's not forget the invaluable role of data and metrics in shaping your strategy for peak performance.

If you're eager to maximise your property's income and take your hosting game to the next level, the solution may be simpler than you think. Smarthost offers you the expertise, data analytics, and all-inclusive property management services that make success almost a guarantee. From setting the optimal price to offering 24/7 customer support and professional cleaning, we ensure that every aspect of hosting is covered.

Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey through London's Airbnb market. We hope you’ve found valuable insights and tips that can be applied immediately. We look forward to assisting you in reaching—and even surpassing—your short-letting goals. Cheers to your success!

Simplify and optimise your rental investments with our app.
Learn more

About SmartHost

We're an expert property management company specializing in short, medium and long lets. Since launching in 2016 we’ve managed over 130,000 stays and have earned our clients and property partners over £38M in revenue.

Increase your rental income with Smarthost
Up to 40% more
Learn more
Do you want our team to reach out to you?
Unlocking Your Property's Full Potential since 2016