New figures show £436m could go to homeowners and £140m to the local economy

Half a million Londoners could use their spare room to help pay the bills, whilst also boosting the tourism industry, according to GLA Conservative Tony Arbour.

He will urge the Mayor of London to promote existing technology that helps simplify the process of turning London’s spare rooms into bed and breakfast-type accommodation.

Hosts on average make additional earnings of £3,000 a year,¹ and taking into account all eligible properties these rents could total £436m.² These tourists would also bring an additional £140m in spending to the local economy.³

Tony Arbour, GLA Conservatives Assembly Tourism spokesman, said:

“London is really lagging behind other cities when it comes to making money off our spare rooms. For perspective, Paris has 40% more AirBnB properties than London. This is partly because legislation was late to allow this, but also because people don’t know how easy it is to do. With new technology letting out your spare room as a bed and breakfast is only an app away. London needs to get the word out that you can pay your bills with your spare room.”

² 1,575,000 homes in London could be rented out through home-sharing schemes. Of these homes, 778,050 have a spare room. 70 per cent of Londoners, or 544,635 properties, are willing to engage in the sharing their property, with earnings of £3,000 per property. By renting out their spare rooms, London’s home owners could generate £1.634bn, and bringing £530 of tourist spending. With an estimated total occupancy of 26.7 per cent, this puts the earning at £436m in incomes and over £140m in tourist spending.
³ Airbnb guests spend twice as much over the course of their trips to London ($1,496 compared to $713 for the average visitor ). Taking the difference between these figures, and converting them to £ (exchange rate at 0.65), and multiplying them by the number of spare rooms, gives additional £140m to the tourist economy.
* Paris is the top destination in the world for home-sharing, with 35,428 holiday rentals listed on the popular home-sharing platform, Airbnb. This equates to 40 per cent more than London’s 25,361 properties.