Sharp drop in Reykjavik apartments being listed on Airbnb

Iceland: There has been a significant drop in the number of apartments in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik being listed on Airbnb, according to City of Reykjavik data.

At the end of February this year, 3,852 apartments in the municipality of Reykjavík were registered on Airbnb but by the end of August, that number had fallen to 2,737, a percentage drop of 29%.

The drop, particularly over the summer months, appears to be most noticeable in neighbourhoods further away from the city centre. In February, 30.9% of all Reykjavik’s Airbnb rentals were in the city centre but current figures are up to 36.2%. 


Only a fraction of all Airbnb apartments worldwide are registered with the authorities, but the city continuously assesses the popular vacation rental site to monitor both the distribution and quantity of tourist rentals in Reykjavik.

This strategy is part of an effort by the city to limit the number of apartments that are taken from the long-term rental market, which has threatened to perpetuate Reykjavik’s current housing shortage. Along with the shortage of rental properties, soaring rents in Reykjavík are among the most pressing social and economic concerns facing low income citizens in the region.

 The latest analysis indicates the Airbnb boom is responsible for 15% of the increase in real estate prices in Reykjavík in recent years.

 A city spokesman for the city said it was difficult to evaluate the impact of the recent decrease in short-term Airbnb listings on the rental market.

 Many apartments are rented for the short term by occupants who might otherwise have left the property empty while they are away, for example if they are working. In other cases people list a spare room, which people can do currently for up to 90 days each year without registering them as guesthouses.