SAN JUAN – There are more than 10,000 Airbnb properties in Puerto Rico, according to a report by Estudios Técnicos Inc., a Puerto Rico-based financial consulting firm, which pointed out that in tourism areas such as the island-municipality of Culebra and Old San Juan, a quarter of all homes are listed on the online lodging platform.
The analysis measured the penetration of Airbnb in Puerto Rico as a percent of existing housing, which demonstrates a “very high penetration” in the Puerto Rican market.
“In order to find where these properties tend to converge, we used the total number of households in each ‘zip code’ and contrasted it with the number of Airbnb units. The places in Puerto Rico where there is a greater penetration of Airbnb are the main coastal zones: Culebra, Old San Juan, Ocean Park, Vieques, Rincón, and Isla Verde,” said Roberto A. López, economist and market analyst at Estudios Técnicos.
In Culebra, there are 1,519 homes, of which 416 are listed on Airbnb, or 27.4%. Meanwhile, 1,012 properties, or 24.3%, of the 4,165 households in Old San Juan are Airbnb-listed.
The areas with the least number of Airbnb-listed properties are in the center of the island, such as Corozal, Yauco, Las Piedras, Guayanilla, San Lorenzo and Villalba.
López stressed that the average daily rate of a property on Airbnb depends on its proximity to the beach and the area’s property value, in that order.
“The most expensive rented properties in Puerto Rico are in Dorado ($420 per night, on average), Palmas del Mar ($300) and Río Grande ($268). This list also includes Vieques ($204) and Culebra ($193), which means that they are not only areas of high penetration, but also of high price. These two characteristics together make these municipalities ideal places for an investor in short term rentals,” he said.
The areas with the most Airbnb properties are Rincón, with 1,201 units; Miramar, with 1,183; Torrecilla Baja, San Juan, with 1,180; Old San Juan, with 1,012; and Ocean Park, with 986.
“As of last count, there are nearly 10,000 Airbnb facilities available in Puerto Rico, a number that probably underestimates the total,” the firm said.
“Although Rincón is ranked #1, the four San Juan Metro sectors together have almost four times the Rincón total. In the Metro Area, as one would expect, a high proportion of Airbnb units are in condominiums,” Estudios Técnicos said in a summary with charts about the findings.
“What is more interesting than the number of Airbnb units is the penetration of Airbnb, measured as a percent of all housing in a locality. This is what the following map and table reflect. In terms of penetration, Culebra and Old San Juan are by far the zones in which the percentage of properties dedicated to Airbnb is highest, on average one in four residential units. This is a very meaningful metric for policy related to urban development.
“It is clear from the above information that penetration is highest in the coastal zone. When considering the areas with least Airbnb penetration, these tend to be in the interior with few exceptions and these have very low levels of penetration.”
“Another interesting metric is that related to the average daily rate (ADR) of an Airbnb. As perhaps is to be expected given the high property values in the zone, the ADR is highest in Dorado, followed by Palmas del Mar in Humacao and Río Grande. All three sites are characterized by high property values and are beach accessible.”
“Curiously, one finds the lowest ADR in some sectors of San Juan, south of Baldorioty de Castro Avenue, Hato Rey and Santurce (South). These are sectors in which the value of housing is typically low.”
The information, Estudios Técnicos said, “provides useful intelligence for both those interested in exploring entering the Airbnb market and those that are in competing activities, particularly smaller hotels and guest houses. It also provides useful data for potential public policy interventions and suggests that to the extent that efforts to strengthen the attractiveness of the Island’s interior for tourism advance, Airbnb penetration should increase in these regions.
Sources: AirDNA, Estudios Técnicos, Inc. data banks