Airbnb Scotland Survey 2023

Airbnb Scotland Survey 2023

This post follows previous surveys in 2021 and 2022.  The primary aim of the survey was to collect data showing the distribution and numbers of homes listed on Airbnb across Scotland.  The evaluation utilised the same methodology as the 2022 survey and was carried out during November 2023.  The total number of listings found for Scotland was 30,407.  After processing to identify non-homes (e.g. bed and breakfast, hotel rooms, log cabins etc.) 20,577 listings were determined to be short term let listings of properties that were formerly or suitable for permanent residence as homes.  Where the term properties is used it will be restricted to those short term lets suitable for permanent residence.  Other forms of short term lets are not discussed further on this page.

Map 1: Distribution of Short Term Lets in Scotland
Zoom in using the + – tool and drag the image to move around. Shetland can be observed by pulling the map down.



Properties by Local Authority

Total Properties (see Table 1)
The following LAs had the highest number of properties listed on Airbnb in Scotland:

  • Highland (3,567)
  • City of Edinburgh (2,860)
  • Argyll and Bute (1,325)
  • Glasgow City (1,318)
  • Fife (1,311)
  • Dumfries and Galloway (1,000)

Per Square Kilometre
The highest densities of properties are to be found in city centres:

  • City of Edinburgh (10.86 properties per square kilometre)
  • Glasgow City (7.54)
  • Dundee City (3.19)
  • Aberdeen City (2.54)
  • Fife (0.99)  Clustered around St Andrews and the coast between Earlsferry and Crail.

Per 1000 Population
The Local Authorities with the highest properties per 1000 population are:

  • Western Isles (17.79)
  • Argyll and Bute (15.37)
  • Highland (14.98)
  • Orkney Islands (10.91)

Table 1: Short Term Lets by Local Authority in Scotland
Showing Local Authority, total properties, properties per square kilometre
and properties per 1000 LA population.

table showing airbnb properties in each Scottish local authority, with properties, properties per square kilometer and properties per 1000 population

Properties in Scottish Island Communities

Total Properties on Island (see Table 2)
The highest numbers are on:

  • Skye (632)
  • Lewis and Harris (350)
  • Orkney Islands (246)
  • Note also Arran, Shetland Islands, Islay and Bute
    which all have more than 100 properties

Scottish Islands Properties per 1000 Population
Notably high values on:

  • Skye (68.46)
  • Islay (33.27)
  • Tiree (31.17)
  • North Uist (28.32)
  • Arran (27.55)
  • Jura (26.6)

Overall, the impact on island housing is greater than on the mainland local
authorities where akk the islands except Shetland Isles and Coll have higher
values per 1000 population than Highland (14.98).

Table 2: Short Term Lets on Scottish Islands
Showing total properties, population, short term lets per 1000 population,
short term lets per square kilometre

table showing airbnb properties on Scottish islands, with properties count, properties per square kilometer and properties per 1000 population

Comparison to Scotland Airbnb Survey 2022

The total  number of short term lets has decreased by 2,352 properties, or 11%, since the last survey in 2022.  Some 70% of the decrease can be accounted for by falls in the numbers of properties in Glasgow City and City of Edinburgh local authorities.

Glasgow City properties have fallen by 1,005 (43%) which is possibly due to inflated numbers in 2022 as owners opportunistically let out properties during COP22 which was held in the city that year.   Falls in Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire may also be influenced by the effect of  COP22.

In Edinburgh, a decrease of 671 (19%) may reflect on the stance taken by the City of Edinburgh which designated the whole of the city area as a short-term let control area and which mandated that owners must apply for a material change of use requiring planning permission.

Although the general trend is for a decrease in numbers of properties, there are also increases in some local authorities.  The largest increase is in Midlothian which had an increase of 4%, although this was from a small base of 55 properties in 2022.  North Lanarkshire also saw increases of nearly 20%.


table showing comparison of short term lets in scotland between 2022 and 2023

Methods, Limitations and References

The methods, limitations and references used in this survey were as described previously (see Airbnb Scotland Survey 2022)

Airbnb Scotland Survey 2023

One thought on “Airbnb Scotland Survey 2023

  1. Hello, my name is Gwyn and I’m a researcher at Changeworks. I submitted a request on the 13th of February but I’m just following up in case it got lost. We’re collecting data on short term lets for Scottish Government and would be interested to see your dataset on Airbnb properties in Scotland. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions, I’m happy to share more about the project. Thanks!

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