Business of Design

New Airbnb Hosts Made $1 Billion During The Pandemic

Airbnb created an economic opportunity for homeowners to earn needed extra income by listing their homes.

Since the pandemic began, 55% of new Airbnb hosts are women.

What’s Happening: When the tough got going during the pandemic, many of the tough also got renting. While many faced financial hardship, renting out extra space in their homes made the difference between staying afloat and going bust.

The Download: New Airbnb hosts that joined the platform since March, with only one listing, have earned more than $1 billion. In the United States alone, this constitutes $67 million grossed by new hosts in California, including $10 million in Los Angeles. In Florida, new hosts brought in $42 million, while hosts in New York State yielded $36 million, including $10 million in the Catskills and Hudson Valley.

Why It Matters: In the U.S., new hosts brought in roughly $3,900 during the pandemic—nearly twice the amount that Uncle Sam provided through stimulus checks. That amount hits different considering that one in four Americans have recently struggled paying the bills. Half of all Airbnb hosts have used that income to stay in their homes, while 29 percent have used their earnings to pay rent or mortgage. When you take Millennial hosts (age 25–34) into account, that figure leaps to 49 percent. One quarter of hosts have used their earnings to pay off debt, while 10 percent focused on healthcare.

In Their Own Words: Nate Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s chief strategy officer, says the report lends credence to the company’s original mission. “Airbnb was founded to help us pay the rent, right? I feel proud that we can play a real role in helping people get back on their feet.”

Surface Says: If you have space and need cash, don’t wait for that extra stimulus check or your tax return—becoming an Airbnb host might be more lucrative.

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