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Business - December 21, 2022

Hotel Businesses Dwindling: The Rise of Short-let Investment in Nigeria

Although they have been around in Nigeria since 2011, the unpopular short-let apartments took advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown, when most hotels were out of business and had to shut their doors to guests, to make records.

As the name suggests, short-let refers to furnished self-contained apartments that are rented for brief periods of time, typically by the month, as opposed to annual rents in the market for unfurnished apartments.

As hotels in Nigeria’s hospitality sector lose market share to the more modest short-term accommodations, short-let flats are taking aim at the industry’s bigwigs.

How short-lets became a booming industry?

Few people foresaw that a business as sharp as the apartment and hospitality would develop into what it is now in terms of economic prosperity and depth. 

A niche that has been created for those who are willing to embrace the challenge and run with it has delivered outcomes that industry leaders never dreamed possible.

The long-term shutdown of numerous businesses worldwide due to the COVID-19 epidemic did not threaten the firm foundation of the Short Let World. Instead, it helped Nigeria’s short-term rental industry.

According to a BusinessDay survey, the top reasons why short-stay apartments experienced a boom in 2020 and are expected to continue growing in 2021 are the low cost of the homelike short let apartments, the anxiety associated with hotel crowds and the high risk of virus exposure, and the ability to select the apartment of choice.

Nigeria’s short-term rental sector, estimated at hundreds of millions of naira, is stealing business from traditional hotels in terms of volume and dollar amount of transactions.

More people tuning to shortlets

According to Statista data, hotels in Nigeria had an average occupancy rate of 47.5 percent in March 2021. 

However, a BusinessDay survey of three of Nigeria’s busiest cities found that the average occupancy rate for short-term rentals rose to 76.3 percent in March from the reported 54.6 percent three years earlier.

Analysts think that short-term rentals present a strategic investor with an investing opportunity.

Short-let apartments in Nigeria were already expanding before COVIdD-19 caused expansion, becoming the largest short-let centre in the world. Nigeria was listed as one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for Airbnb in 2019 by Airbnb.

Referred to as the most inexpensive choice for extended month-long vacations. They are thought as as hotels’ alternatives. Like some individuals would typically allow in their houses, some of the property owners allow dogs.

The hotel business still dominates the provision of hospitality services in Nigeria, but short-term rentals are beginning to pose a serious threat to it for the reasons listed below.

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1. Cheaper alternative

When travelling or planning an event, accommodations and ideal locations are among the most expensive components.

It also serves as a superior and more affordable lodging alternative, allowing you to experience hotel amenities in a domestic setting for a lot less money.

Short-term rental flats are emerging as a hotel substitute due to their accessible elegance. The average cost of short-term apartment rentals in Lagos is N65,000 per day, according to data from the Nigeria Property Centre.

In contrast, hotels typically charge N100,000 or more per day for a comparable property that is rated three or four stars.

2. A win for both tenants and landlords

While some landlords benefit directly from the short-term rental market, others get an early rent payment from their tenants who list their extra rooms for short-term rental.

People frequently leave their homes empty while on extended vacations.

They receive no further benefits from these vacant flats that sit idle.

A few months of building rental would generate extra cash at no further expenditure.

Industry analysts predict that more Nigerians would follow their peers and offer their properties for short-term rentals, which will subsequently result in lower pricing for tenants to enjoy.

3. Good for flexible business travel 

People are travelling more, and not just for pleasure. Employees of multinational corporations seeking to exchange knowledge and expertise around the world have grown accustomed to flexible business travel.

When individuals travel for leisure, they want to experience the local culture and find the best hidden gems, whereas when they go for business, they want space and amenities that make them feel at home.

Whether travelling for work or pleasure, everyone wants to feel at home. Let them have it so you may profit more.

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