Mar 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Rural areas see short-term rental boom amid coronavirus spread

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While the travel industry and accommodations are taking a major hit amid the coronavirus pandemic, short-term rentals in U.S. rural (and suburban, to a less extent) areas are seeing an uptick, according to new data from AirDNA.

The big picture: People are fleeing densely populated areas, especially on the coasts, and taking up shelter in isolated rentals in rural and more "destination" type of locales.

By the numbers:

  • Airbnb revenue in rural areas: $1.32 billion in March 2020, up from $1.04 billion in March 2019.
  • Airbnb revenue in urban areas: $631 million in March 2020, down from $706 million in March 2019.

Even on a local level, AirDNA's data shows similar patterns between dense city centers and outer areas.

  • New York: Most of Manhattan and parts of bordering New Jersey are collectively down 66% between March 2019 and March 2020, while Connecticut and the Hamptons are seeing a boom in bookings.
  • Boston: The city of Boston is down 66%, while Nantucket and other vacation areas are seeing a huge off-season uptick.
  • Chicago: Chicago is down 11% while lakeside areas in Illinois and Michigan are getting two or three times the bookings.

Yes, but: There's no evidence this will be enough to help the company cruise through the current crisis, especially if travel doesn't resume sooner rather than later. It's in discussions with potential investors for new capital as it decides what to do with its IPO plans.

Go deeper: Coronavirus hits Airbnb, already facing widening losses

Go deeper

Coronavirus hits Airbnb, already facing widening losses

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic is already posing a drag on Airbnb bookings and revenue, according to new data from research firm AirDNA.

Why it matters: This can't be good news for Airbnb, which has been planning to go public in 2020, in part because some employee stock grants will expire by year's end.

Rural residents' access to health care amid coronavirus

Jen Lingo, R.N., walks a resident of the assisted living center in Dayton General Hospital back to her room. Dayton, a small town in rural southeast Washington, has an aging population, had its first positive test for Coronavirus and is waiting on results of more tests. Photo: Nick Otto for the Washington Post

The novel coronavirus can spread faster in densely populated cities than in rural areas, but rural America has a higher-risk population and fewer safety-net programs for people who get sick.

By the numbers: Rural residents are, overall, older than urban dwellers and are therefore more susceptible to this virus. Per Census Bureau data, 17.5% of the rural population is 65 or older.

Go deeperArrowMar 18, 2020 - Health

Airbnb looks for backups to going public amid coronavirus downturn

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Airbnb may not be through with the private markets after all, as CNBC reports that the room rental giant is fielding offers from large investment firms, although pricing remains unclear.

Why it matters: 2020 was supposed to be the year that Airbnb went public, either through an IPO or a direct listing (or a combination of the two).