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Popularity of Serviced Apartment

In recent years, the serviced apartment – a subsector of the hospitality industry – has grown more than any other temporary accommodation class in Europe. This can in part be attributed to globalisation and the needs for workers to travel more frequently to offices located out of town, and companies looking for less expensive ways to accommodate them. Also, families may have a preference to stay together and require a different set up to what hotels offer, in terms of wanting to keep an elderly relative close, having an office space to catch up on work tasks, or to allow older children more privacy.

The evidence of their popularity lies in occupancy rates. Serviced apartments in the UK averaged an 81% occupancy rate in 2016, and outperformed hotel rooms which stood at 77.2%. Amongst businesses, their usage is also increasing. According to a recent survey carried out by the Business Travel Show in November 2016, four in ten corporate buyers have reported that they would have used serviced apartments more by the end of 2016 than they did in 2015.

As we have mentioned above, serviced apartments are outperforming hotel rooms in terms of occupancy rates. Due to their cost-effective nature, they are becoming popular with companies sending employees on business trips, and those travelling for leisure who require more flexibility in their accommodation than what a hotel can offer.

Serviced apartment companies are relishing their success and are subsequently expanding at a fast pace. SACO are currently one of the largest operators of serviced apartments and over the past few years have made several acquisitions. Since the start of the year SACO have secured additional developments in London, Cambridge and Dublin, and a fourth is in the pipeline in Manchester. This demonstrates a confidence in the market, and indeed, a 2016/17 report by Savills predicted that 2017 would be “record growth” in terms of new developments in the UK.
The distinction between serviced apartments and Airbnb.

Governments have been cracking down on Airbnb rentals, which in part allows for success in the serviced apartment market. Berlin has banned tourists from renting entire flats from Airbnb to protect affordable housing, and Airbnb are banned from listing short term rentals in New York. Serviced apartments differ in that they are not flats owned by individuals looking to achieve a supplementary income, but rather they are owned by a company with the sole purpose of renting them out on either a short-term or long-term basis to individuals who need somewhere to stay. Unlike Airbnb, the apartments are not someone else’s permanent residence.

The crackdown of Airbnb rentals in some locations is allowing serviced apartments the opportunity to accommodate those who would have used Airbnb, further boosting demand for the units.
Serviced apartments as an investment