Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei landlords’ returns on investment from rent or Airbnb lets are lowest in the world, survey finds

The average Hongkonger letting a flat on Airbnb would need 38 years to rack up rental proceeds matching value of their property, survey of 75 cities shows; Kuala Lumpur the cheapest major city to stay in using Airbnb

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 5:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 1:32pm

Hong Kong Airbnb members take longer to rack up rental proceeds matching their property’s value than those in every other major city in the world apart from Beijing, a survey shows.

They would need to rent out their properties for 38 years using the popular website, and nearly 48 years if they let them the conventional way, to get a 100 per cent return on their investment, the survey of property values and rents in 75 cities by London-based agency Nested found. In Beijing, owners need to let properties via Airbnb for nearly 60 years to achieve the same.

Hong Kong has the most expensive three-bedroom property, with an average price of more than US$2.4 million (HK$18.6 million), while Egypt’s capital, Cairo, ranked the lowest at US$60,293 for a three-bedroomed property.

The study was based on figures for thousands of properties sold in the past 12 months, or those on the market. Data for the study also came from record offices in each city, the World Bank, HSBC data and The Economist.

Hong Kong is most expensive city in Asia for expatriates to rent a high-end apartment

According to the study, Durban in South Africa is the fastest city to recover property prices via Airbnb (18 months), while Lagos in Nigeria is the fastest via traditional renting (132 months, or 11 years). Taipei is slowest via traditional renting, at 693 months, or 57 years nine months.

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The study found Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, has the most affordable monthly average Airbnb cost at US$1,664, while Dubai has the most expensive monthly average Airbnb cost at US$15,892.

“The rise of Airbnb is making it harder for renters to find properties as more landlords are preferring to rent to short-term renters who pay a premium,” Nested chief executive Matt Robinson says.

“The results of this study are highly significant for those currently looking to use real estate as a long- term investment.”

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According to Hong Kong’s Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance, premises that offer sleeping accommodation for a fee for any period less than 28 days must be licensed.

The flats on Airbnb, which do not appear on the Home Affairs Department’s list of licensed guest houses, are among a growing number of short-term rental properties being let illegally in Hong Kong.

According to Inside Airbnb, an independent, non-commercial set of tools and data that allows users to explore how Airbnb is being used in cities globally, Hong Kong has almost 6,500 listings.

For full results of Nested study: