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The Latest News in the World of Vacation Rentals

Keeping up with the latest happenings in the vacation rental and travel industry is just simply not possible at times for a busy property manager. There is so much to read and digest that at times it can be tempting to ignore it. To help you keep up with the most important events, we’ve compiled the biggest stories that impacted the vacation rental industry in the last weeks.


OnlyApartments Acquires Migoa and Holiday rentals

Onlyapartments quadruples in size with the acquisition of Migoa and Holiday rentals. The luxury property listing company has added to its roster with two new companies. They have now greatly expanded their potential market seem to be making a play to become of the biggest names in the vacation rental industry.

The company that markets online urban tourist apartments has bought Only Apartments platform for Professional Holiday Rentals. This company specializes in the rental of holiday homes on the coast and in the mountains and operates under two brands, Migoa and Holiday Rentals.

Only Apartments manages the marketing of 30,000 houses and Holiday Rentals, 90,000 apartments, which, after this transaction, the buyer quadrupled its size. Last year, this company had a turnover of 3.8 million euros.

Philadelphia Legalises Short Term Rentals

Faced with a visit from the Pope and a chronic shortage of hotel rooms, Philadelphia have permitted short term rentals, being taxed at the same rate as hotels. Being able to add to tourism without requiring any new building is one of the biggest advantages of permitting vacation rentals in cities. If successful, the Philadelphia example could be used as a shining light for other cities across the world.

The city changed its zoning rules to allow for short-term rentals in residential areas, which have been operating tax-free. Rentals lasting more than 30 days in a row require a permit, and accommodations cannot be rented out for more than 180 days in total each year. That's a provision to prevent residential housing from turning into year-round hotels.

Short-term rentals will be subject to an 8.5% hotel tax. Short-term rentals will be subject to an 8.5% hotel tax. City Councilman William Greenlee explained that short-term rentals are essentially short-term hotels, and should be made to follow the same rules.

These are some of the biggest changes in American city regulations. They permit more rentals than San Francisco or London and could set a precedent for other cities around the world.

Airbnb Unveil Plans For Expansion into the African Market

The travel rental market in Africa has grown 257%, with listings in the main cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg growing 138% in the last year. The company is looking to expand after regulation in established markets such as New York city threatens to curtail their value.

Airbnb recently hired a general manager for Middle East and Africa, Nicola D’Elia, who was the former head of international growth and partnerships at Facebook. D’Elia, based in London, will hire staff to manage the business in Africa and says he may eventually open local offices in the region. In the coming weeks, Airbnb says it will also roll out its “host guarantee” in Africa, which reimburses hosts for up to $1 million U.S. dollars if a guest damages their homes.
Many Africans had already taken to Airbnb despite the company’s lack of a physical presence there. With news spreading mainly through word of mouth, some 9,400 homes are for rent in South Africa, making it the company’s largest market on the continent. The biggest cities for Airbnb are Cape Town and Johannesburg, and the company says listings in South Africa are increasing 138 percent a year. The number of people staying in Airbnb homes in the country is growing 257 percent. “Africa is an incredibly exotic place to travel to, and this is an incredible way to experience it like a local,” says Chesky, on his first trip to the continent.  

These are just three of the biggest news stories we saw this week. Feel free to share any other interesting news with us on social media.

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