Owners of luxury homes in London turn to Airbnb as properties languish on market

Officials are cracking down on owners who exceed the 90-day rental limit

<em>The Hyde Park mansion</em>
The Hyde Park mansion

Luxury homeowners in London are increasingly turning to Airbnb and similar sites as a quick way to make cash as their properties sit on the market.

One developer, for example, is charging 1,500 pounds ($1,868 a night) for an apartment in Hyde Park — listed for sale at a reduced 8.65 million pounds — in hopes of recovering some of the loss he’ll take when the property eventually sells, Bloomberg reported. The pound has dropped 16 percent against the dollar since the Brexit vote, leaving overseas buyers — who make up 41 percent of home purchases in London’s ritziest districts — with less to pay off their mortgages.

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“Demand in the long-let market has not been very strong after the Brexit vote, but property owners need to maintain their profit,” Gao Xiang, president of JC International Property, told Bloomberg. “The price-to-rent ratio is far less than investors expect.”

Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other officials are cracking down on properties that are exceeding the 90-day limit on short-term rentals. To qualify for year-round stays, homes must have the same planning approvals as hotels.

In New York, officials have similarly been cracking down on landlords running illegal short-term rentals. [Bloomberg]Kathryn Brenzel