More and more units that were listed on short-term rental platforms prior to the coronavirus outbreak are moving to the long-term market, according to a Lisbon-based industry expert who says the pandemic’s fallout has made Portugal more affordable.

“It’s still a little bit uncertain what’s happening, but there was a big shift for hosts to move from short-term listings to more long-term listings,” David Nicol Williams, co-founder, chairman, and CEO at NomadX, told Via News about the impact of COVID-19 on the rental market.  

Read more: To Visit Portugal or Not: That Is the Question

NomadX, in its own words, offers flexible and non-bureaucratic month-to-month rentals for nomadic professionals and remote workers that are about 50% more affordable than short-term platforms.

The company—which is headquartered in the Portuguese capital and plans to expand worldwide—currently has listings across Portugal, including in Lisbon, Porto, Ericeira, Cascais, Peniche, Lagos, Aveiro, Albufeira, and Madeira.

David Nicol Williams, co-founder, chairman and CEO of NomadX (Photo credit: Via News)
David Nicol Williams, co-founder, chairman and CEO of NomadX (Photo credit: Via News)

Dave says there has been a big spike in the number of properties listed on their platform in recent months.

“At the end of last year, we had a thousand listings, but now we have over 2,000 with a lot of those coming as a result of Airbnb owners shifting to more of a long-term strategy and also hosts being fairly frustrated with Airbnb.”

Read more: NomadX, Digital Nomad Housing Platform, Aims to Bring Back “Host” Into Equation

The CEO of NomadX believes that Airbnb has to “reorganize” its business and try and come back to the basics of focusing on hosts.

“I think they have lost their way a little bit,” he said, adding that a real focus around the host in addition to a focus on the customer has always been a key part of the strategy pursued by NomadX.

“The magic of what we’re offering is having these great local hosts and having them engage with our community and finding great places for them to stay, whether it’s a private apartment, a co-living space, or just a private bedroom,” he explained.

Portuguese Market

Asked about the prospects for the rental market in Portugal, Dave said a recent study done by NomadX showed that short-term rental properties were dropping prices immediately after the spread of the disease.

“We saw about a 30 maybe 40% drop in prices in the short-term market and this was mostly April, maybe into June. We’re also seeing hosts start to discount listings. Listings that might have cost you €2,000 are now costing €1,000 so you can find some really great deals.”

In Dave’s view, this is kind of the “wonder” and “beauty” of what is happening right now because it is making Portugal more affordable again.

On the long-term outlook for the rental market, the co-founder of NomadX said the prices are expected to start going back to what they were as we head into the main summer months.

“I think there’s a lot of optimism from the Portuguese that they’re still going to be able to get high prices on other short-term platforms.”  

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