May 8, 2023 - Business

Utah cities' Airbnb fees among nation's worst

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill as a welcome mat at an open door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Park City and Salt Lake City are two of the worst cities in the country for having extra Airbnb fees, according to an analysis from Forbes.

Driving the news: About 45% of the cost of an Airbnb stay in Park City is made up of fees — cleaning, service and taxes — Forbes says. That makes it the sixth-worst city on the list.

  • Salt Lake City is at No. 11 of 100 cities, with 44% of costs going to fees.

Why it matters: Short-term rentals are changing the real estate market — especially in Park City, where they made up about 43% of the housing stock, the Deseret News reported last year.

Yes, but: Analysts said the short-term rental market may be getting saturated as more property owners list their spaces, MarketWatch reported last year.

  • The costs to stay at a short-term rental also have risen — along with complaints about add-on fees.

Zoom in: Park City's occupancy rates fell this winter, despite the historic snowfall, according to the short-term rental data site Rabbu.com.

  • February, historically the busiest month, brought occupancy rates around 72%, down from 84% last year.
  • Salt Lake City reached 71% occupancy this year, down from 79% last year, Rabbu finds.

By the numbers: Atlanta is the worst city in terms of fees (48%). The average is 36% in fees on top of nightly rates, Forbes finds.

  • The average Airbnb nightly rate in Park City is $293, with Salt Lake City's average at $193.

The bottom line: The higher fees make Airbnb prices comparable to hotel rates in some cities.

Zoom out: Forbes Advisor says it looked at 32,000 listings in the 100 most popular Airbnb markets. The analysis reviewed listings for July 2023.

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