Words: Ellen Kenny
District took a look at Ireland’s Airbnbs to create the perfect holiday guide. Here’s where you shouldn’t stay this summer.
According to the latest figures in the 2021 census, 166,752 properties were recorded as vacant in Ireland. Dublin City and Galway City have the highest number of vacant rental properties in Ireland, at 30 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.
All these empty properties in Ireland don’t sit quite right with reality, considering the amount of homeless people in Ireland has grown to 10,325, the highest figures since February 2020. And homelessness rates are highest in the areas where the most vacant properties exist. How did this happen?
Well, the CSO predicted that most of these vacant properties are likely used as Airbnbs, and were empty on Census Night. Disappointing, but not surprising in the least.
If Airbnbs are taking up so much space, you’d at least hope they are value for money as a hotel-alternative. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Ireland. With that in mind, we thought we’d showcase the properties riding this wave of uncertainty and inequality in Ireland. Here’s the most extortionate listings we found this week.
Talk about absolute chancery. Of course, all private student accommodation owners lease out their rooms over the summer to unwitting tourists. But charging nearly 1,600 euros to sleep where dozens of students before you have had mental breakdowns and dodged deadlines? That’s just a bit cruel.
While Airbnb does not disclose the precise location of a rental until someone books in, District found this student accommodation near Chancery Park. While we can’t be 100 per cent sure it’s the same spot, the resemblance is undeniable.
What’s also undeniable is the price of that student accommodation when it’s not being rented on Airbnb: 273 euros per week, or 1,092 euros per month, or 39 euros per night. I wonder what gold-plate duvet covers they offer tourists to justify increasing the rent by 1,531 euros.
When I first read this, I thought it said “Marilyn Manson”. Which makes sense, because that price is absolutely killing me.
Admittedly, it’s a lovely little Rathgar location. But it is absolutely not worth 5,000 euros. Especially when their advertisement admits that their B&B is not currently serving breakfast, “so actually it is one “B” only”. Great joke guys. Take my money, I guess.
I fail to see the connection to Marilyn Monroe here. When we enter the “B&B”, are we supposed to feel like Marilyn- exploited and cheated? Or is the house supposed to symbolise Marilyn Monroe- pretty on the outside, absolutely miserable on the inside?
Listen. Why else would they display literally no photos of the property other than a Google Map image, if not to advertise that you, yes you, can rent the entirety of Ballymun on Airbnb for 2,000 euros per night?
The Airbnb is actually located somewhere near Mulhuddart, a good ten minute drive from Ballymun. But why would any the host choose to not only not share any photos of the property, but put Ballymun as the focal point of the image? Ballymun deserves better than this cursed advertisement.
The room is described as a “breakfast and comfort room near by airport [sic]”. Anyone staying at this rental will certainly need a lot of comfort when they realise that they paid 2,000 euros to be over an hour away from Dublin Airport on the bus. A taxi drive is only twenty minutes, but how much money do you realistically have left over after an evening here?
Now, this place doesn’t immediately scream unreasonable. 800 euros a night is steep, but when you see its handy location in Dollymount, its proximity to the beach, its closeness to quality shops and restaurants, you can imagine the kind of person that might rent this one-bedroom.
That is until, you realise this Airbnb is for “refugees only”. A little more unreasonable now.
Housing refugees is always an admirable and worthy display of kindness to your fellow human in need. But charging them 800 euros a night to stay? I don’t even know what that is. The Government has offered 400 euros to any Irish household that can take in Ukrainian refugees, but always aim higher, I guess?
According to the ad, the hosts don’t even provide food to the refugees, that’s all on them. What a way to welcome someone to Ireland.
This is either the most beautiful typo in Airbnb’s history, or the most ambitious Airbnb host in Ireland.
The description tells you everything about the wonders of Claremorris, county Mayo. Their fine dining, their theatre (singular) and nightclubs (plural, apparently). I’m not one hundred per cent sure, though, that these amenities warrant 56,000 euros for one week in Mayo. Along with a 9,724 euros service charge, of course.
A reverse image search revealed this rental on another website for 56 pounds, or 65 euros, per night. However, it also is not available to rent on the alternative website, while on Airbnb, you can pay out that 65,724 instantly if you want.
If the owner of this Airbnb could please come forward and reveal the truth, that would be greatly appreciated. It’s keeping me up at night.
It’s not all overpriced student accommodation and 8,000 euro beds in Mayo. Ireland has some beautiful Airbnbs that might just restore your faith in humanity. Like this elegant 33-acre estate that houses 14 people for 1,331 euros per night, or 95 euros per person per night. And just a 25 minute drive from Galway City, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Or what about this literal castle on the sea. An award-winning hideaway that sleeps 22 people for 1,310 euros per night. Or 59 euros per person per night. I’m crying.
What these two locations have in common are that they are not in Dublin (the castle by the sea is in Killybegs, actually, so watch out for fish smells). Of course, this isn’t to say that all Airbnbs in Dublin are overpriced kips. If you give yourself enough time (and perseverance), there really are some hidden gems. But the hidden gems are a lot harder to find than the living hells.
In all seriousness, Airbnbs are chipping away at our ability to enjoy and simply live in our own capital city. There are currently 10,325 homeless people in Ireland. In Dublin alone, 5,173 people are left homeless. Daft.ie just reported a ten per cent increase in house prices compared to last year. 10,325 people missing out on a real home and safety, and for what?
Our housing situation is getting worse and worse by the day, and to see the amount of houses used for Airbnbs rather than real homes is the last nail in the coffin.
If so many vacant properties exist in Dublin thanks to Airbnb, the least hosts can do is provide rentals actually worth staying in.
Elsewhere on District: South William Street to be permanently pedestrianised