Vacation rental supply 2021 – inventory evolution in top countries

All in all, short-term rentals are primed for another golden age, and supply can tell the story.

We take a look at the evolution we’ve tracked in top vacation rental countries and also the change over the course of the pandemic. So, where has vacation rental supply grown most?

Short-term rental supply evolution

The first thing to mention is that we decided to look only at entire home rentals (Airbnb’s room only listings, sorry). Otherwise, any short-term rental appearing on one or more of Airbnb, Vrbo,, TripAdvisor is counted. Furthermore, we ruled out all properties with under 5 reviews, to make sure we’re only looking at established inventory.

Now take a look at how inventory has evolved in the US, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, China, Australia, Mexico, Canada & the UAE since 2018:

As expected, the US has by far and away the largest rental supply. It passes half a million entire home listings with 5+ reviews in June 2019, and most recently, in October 2021 to total stands at over 666,000.

Can you tell, where has vacation rental supply grown most?

Spoiler alert – it’s China! Despite a significant stall – and actually shrinkage – through the height of the pandemic, Chinese inventory has grown 187% overall since Jan 2018. Mexico isn’t far behind however: short-term rental supply in Mexico has grown an impressive 152% in the past (almost) 4 years.

The average growth across our 10 nations was 66%, and other top growers include the US and Canada at 65% and 64% respectively. Australia might have seen the lowest growth in short-term rentals, but 14% is still progress.

Impact of COVID-19

Whilst in the more immediate climbs of recovery, we looked at vacation rental supply across world regions against pre-pandemic.

Download the full vacation rental map of the world report.

Between June 2019 and June 2021, only the Americas saw growth in vacation rental stock. Latin America has seen the greatest increase (8%). Asia and Oceania meanwhile saw fairly significant regression.

However, Europe remains the highest supply region worldwide with almost 4 million ‘entire home’ vacation rental properties. (1) count of vacation rental properties listed as entire home.

Short-term rentals climbing out of the pandemic

While in June most world regions had seen regression of supply numbers compared with pre-COVID, the picture looks very different now.

Following a few months more of recovery, only China have seen a supply regression in the past 2 years.

The UAE and Mexico, who enjoyed lesser restrictions at key points in the pandemic have managed to grow significantly through the chaos. And so, while back in June the picture looked less rosy for the majority of world regions, this side of summer is proving to be more positive for almost every one of our top nations.

If supply is an indicator of demand, could the pandemic be further behind vacation rentals than we think? Track the current state & global trends of the short-term rental industry with the free Lighthouse Global Data Tracker.

To better understand what Lighthouse data can do for you, visit our product page.

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