The United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland needs no introduction and is one of the most desirable tourist destinations in modern history. The tourism industry contributes around $270 bln to the country’s economy. And a short-term rental business is a good way to become a part of it. Below are the best cities in the UK to invest in vacation rental property.
Listing of the most profitable airbnb cities in Great Britain
Read also more about the best European cities for Airbnb.
Cities in the UK with the most Airbnb potential
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The first important thing to consider if you’re an Airbnb owner in London is the 90 days rule for short-term rentals. This means if you’re renting your entire house on that platform, you can only for 90 days a year. If you’re only renting out a portion of your home via Airbnb, while still living in the property, this rule doesn’t apply. You can also apply for a 90-day limit exemption form and rent the entire property with no restrictions.
As for choosing a location for the property, remember that London is very, very big. Every neighborhood attracts specific tenants. More posh and artsy guests tend to stay in Mayfair, Soho, or Chelsea. For London’s history and charm, there are Southwark, Notting Hill, and Paddington. More budget-friendly rentals are usually found in Camden or King’s Cross.
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Edinburgh is breathtakingly beautiful and strategically important: it’s where the Scottish Government sits and the economy grows. It’s also predicted to surpass Glasow in terms of size in 20-25 years. More than 500,000 visitors come to Edinburgh every day, and most of them are tourists. West End is among the most popular locations for Airbnb investment: the property isn’t cheap, but the revenue is worth it. Real estate in North and West Edinburgh is less pricey, but no less popular for short-term bookings. And for high-end rental properties, consider neighborhoods south of the Old Town.
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Coventry had been seeing record growth in visitors pre-pandemic, and that demand is getting back on track. The central UK city is especially popular among culinary tourists these days, but guests with general tourist interests are frequent as well.
Coventry has three large universities, so your short-term rentals can be aimed at the student’s visiting family. Consider locations near the Ricoh Arena (home of the Coventry City F.C. for sports fans). And basically everything else in the city center for the main tourist crowd. The outskirts of Coventry are not very touristy, but that’s the ground you can cover for more affordable Airbnb rentals.
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Rich history and heritage aside, Nottingham has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK. The short-term rentals market is heavily aimed at: a) the students at the city’s two large universities, b) participants in the local business affairs (especially the medical technology market), and c) tourists.
When choosing a location for your Airbnb property in Nottingham, consider areas near NET tram stops. And if you like to think big, look into properties near the future HS2 network station.
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Sheffield has of the fastest growing populations in the UK. It’s also a flourishing hi-tech city with several huge research centers, thanks to which it’s been going through renovations. For investment in profitable Airbnb properties, consider locations of the Sheffield’s Heart of the City I project. Or the already developing West Bar Square project in the Riverside Business District
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The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow sees no shortage of inbound and outbound tourists. It also has the most affordable real estate in the UK. But don’t forget that it has strict rules for short-term rentals: all hosts must obtain a license and follow the Council’s policy. For instance, the property should be located in areas with high accessibility.
Consider purchasing an Airbnb property in neighborhoods like Dennistoun, Giffnock, or the West End — they are among the prettiest, safest, and most touristy. Also, look into the neighborhood town of Paisley: it’s near the Glasgow Airport, which can bring good Airbnb traffic.
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Manchester’s economy is booming, and the city is developing fast, which can be seen in its real estate market. The tourism sector is worth almost $8bn. You can invest in short-term rental accommodations in one of Manchester’s modern, impressive skyscrapers: apartments here are high-end and bring steady yield. For tourist-oriented charm, explore properties in Northern Quarter, or Ancoats. Salford Quays is not in the city center, but it’s the home of Manchester’s digital and creative industry, with the ambitious Media City project in development.
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The largest city in Somerset will be absolutely perfect for vacation rental investment. It’s gorgeous, has a Roman Empire, Jane Austen legacy, and world-famous thermal pools and spa resorts. The rental demand in Bath is high, so investing in Airbnb property will pay out — but get ready for guests with high standards and high competitiveness! But it’s rewarding: short-term rentals in Bath are profitable — possibly, among the most profitable ones in the UK. When choosing neighborhoods, you can take the most obvious route and target spa areas. However, if you don’t want to focus on the hot springs crowd, look into Bath Riverside: it is an enterprise-oriented area with fantastic contemporary real estate projects.
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This is a city singled out by Airbnb: to honor the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the platform pledged to invest £500,000 into tourism projects. Even these favorable conditions aside, Birmingham is in the top 5 most visited tourist locations. For your Airbnb investment, consider properties in areas like Edgbaston, Digbeth, or the Jewellery Quarter. As for short-term rental policies, you’ll be happy to learn that Birmingham doesn’t have any strict regulations for hosts.
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Aside from THE University, Oxford has a lot to offer to its guests — and short-term rental owners. Property prices here might be high, but so are Airbnb occupancy rate and revenue. That being said, properties in some neighborhoods — such as the city center — are owned by the universities. For investment, explore locations like Cowley Road, Park Town, or Jericho. High-end real estate can be found in Summertown.
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This coastal Hampshire city comes right after London in terms of population and welcomes more than 700,000 overnight visitors daily. The heart of Portsmouth is concentrated on Portsea Island — this includes business areas and main historical landmarks — so guests of the city usually look for short-term rentals here. The city center has a high rental yield but is a bit oversaturated with Airbnb offers, so don’t be afraid to consider the suburbs, both on the island and the mainland. Portsmouth suburbs are picturesque, with great infrastructure, and rental yields that can even surpass yields in the city center.
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Manchester’s biggest rival, Liverpool has fewer active rentals but is slightly superior with the revenue numbers. Maybe it’s the Beatles?.. Anyway, the city is rapidly growing, with the 2nd largest regional economy in the UK. Around 5,5 million tourists stay in Liverpool every night. Real estate here is thriving thanks to multi-billion investments poured into the city’s infrastructure and renovation projects. For a more upscale short-term rental investment, consider the city center, or suburbs of the Georgian Quater. The Baltic Triangle area is fantastic for Airbnb: you can find properties for the most diverse crowd, from backpackers and families to entrepreneurs and couples,
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Despite a population of around 350,000 people, reading is actually considered a town, and not a city. Not that it has any impact on the Airbnb market here: it’s quite robust. Reading is a very business and tech-oriented city, with large business parks and international giants like Microsoft, HP, and Oracle. But it’s definitely popular among the tourists, both for its heritage and incredibly convenient transportation links. For instance, the town is directly connected to London via the railway and is 40 km away from London Heathrow Airport.
For short-term Airbnb rental investments, start with looking in the Reading town center: it’s beautiful, comfortable to reside in, and has both new properties, and historical ones, with great renovations. West Reading Suburbs are great too and has close proximity to transportation.
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This Scottish city (not to be confused with the Perths, in the US, Canada, and Australia) is one of the most profitable UK places for Airbnb business. It’s relatively mid-sized, with a population of 48,000, but sees around 2,5 mil visitors every year. One of the reasons for this, besides Perth’s beautiful heritage, is its significance for the transport network in Scotland. Perth is connected to the majority of important Scottish cities, as well as London.
When investing in Airbnb short-term rentals, aimed at tourists and one-night guests: they usually prefer apartments in the center of Perth. Suburbs are nice but mostly consist of entire houses and family residencies.
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Another legendary university birthplace also has much more to offer. Cambridge has slightly fewer Airbnb revenue numbers than Oxford, but they are still impressive. Cinematically stunning, Cambridge attracts around 8,2 mln tourists every year. Properties in the city center will require a hefty investment, but they can pay off thanks to the short-term rental demand. The Big City Life neighborhood title can be shared by Petersfield, Mill Road, or Romsey.
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The ancient city of Chester is one of the main tourist locations in the UK, with more than 35 mln annual guests. It’s also incredibly popular among inbound visitors, thanks to the attractions like Chester Zoo, or Chester Races. Short-term Airbnb rental business in this city can be very, very lucrative. The abundance of different property types in the busy, tourist-packed center of Chester gives investors flexibility: you can choose between traditional houses and posh modern buildings of different scales.
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Aberdeen is one of the most desired cities in the UK rental market. It’s the 3rd largest city in Scotland and has one of the highest Quality of Life indexes out there. The city’s wealth largely depends on its colossal oil industry, and while Aberdeen may not attract tons of tourists, it still has more than 1 million visitors every year. The main tourist scene is concentrated in the center: you can even invest in a short-term Airbnb rental in a traditional building.
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The largest Northern Island city, Belfast welcomes almost 10 mln visitors every year. The short-term rental market here has been going strong since the inception of Airbnb. You can invest in cozy condos in the city center, adorable holiday cottages, or even boat houses — to name a few. Belfast is also quite a safe city, so you can consider most of its neighborhoods for investment. Look into locations next to the most popular museums and universities, as well as transportation systems that connect Belfast with the coast.
The best cities for Airbnb investment in France – here.