Airbnb homes in Greece hit 100,000 mark and growing

Airbnb homes in Greece top 100,000

The number of homes in Greece being put up for short term rent on platforms such as Airbnb is growing at an annual rate of about 10%, exceeding the 100,000 mark in 2017, according to study from Grant Thornton.

The study results published Tuesday showed that 106,452 classifieds appeared on the major platforms, (also including Tripadvisor and Booking) in 2017, up from 95,645 in 2016 and 87,057 in 2015.

With Greece's tourism sector drawing record numbers in recent years, crisis-hit Greeks have taken to renting out properties, on many occasions their own homes, in a bid to up income levels as unemployment remains above 21%.

Most places offered for short term rent are in Athens and large popular islands such as Crete, helping add demand to a real estate market reeling from the country's eight year economic downturn.

SEE ALSO: Greece to tax Airbnb rentals up to 45% - draft law

Real estate officials estimate that around 60% of homes purchased by foreign nationals in Greece are then put up for rent.

Accommodation offered by these home owners, however, is distorting the market, according to hoteliers, who complain of unfair competition and paying higher taxes.

The study found that the Greek government would earn an extra 341 million euros in revenues per year if it were to tax hotels and short term home rentals on the same basis.

In January, a recently passed law comes into effect, introducing taxes and limitations on homes offered to vacationers.