Booked up: Airbnb in Cape Town

As large numbers of properties are turned into short-term rental accommodation for visitors, housing options for local residents decrease

By Alastair Otter
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

As Airbnb grows in popularity it has an increasing impact on housing in many cities. As large numbers of properties are turned into short-term rental accommodation for visitors, housing options for local residents decrease, often in areas with good transport and work opportunities. 

InsideAirbnb is an advocacy group collecting data on Airbnb listings around the world, including Cape Town. 

The first thing to know is that there are more than 20,500 Airbnb listings in the broader Cape Town area. Perhaps unsurprisingly a large portion of these are in the city bowl and Atlantic seaboard.

While there are 20,583 Airbnb listings, there are many hosts with more than one listing. There are 10,985 individual hosts in Cape Town identified by their host ID. The vast majority of these (8,250) have just 1 listing in the area; 2,561 have 2 listings. 

At the other end of the scale, there are 12 hosts connected to between 50 and 100 listings. And a further 5 hosts with more than 100 listings on Airbnb in Cape Town.

There may be many reasons for a host having multiple listings and it’s not uncommon for two listings. Hosts with multiple listings are more likely to be running a business, are unlikely to be living in the property, and may be in violation of short term rental laws designed to protect residential housing, says InsideAirbnb.

We were sceptical at first of these ‘mega’ hosts with hundreds of listings, but they are easy enough to identify: HostAgentsManageAirScottyNox and Happy.

The 17 hosts with 50 or more listings in Cape Town account for 1,443 (7%) of the 20,583 total.