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The future of Airbnb in Biarritz and on the Basque Coast

Show detail - Real estate agency Biarritz - Luxury houses and apartments Basque Country

A novelty planned for 2020 will attempt to curb the expansion of the airbnb phenomenon in Biarritz and on the Basque Coast. Explanations.

Biarritz, Airbnb's flagship destination on the Basque Coast

The Basque Coast attracts tourists every year, both for its cultural and natural heritage. Typical villages, Basque myths and legends, traditional dances, unmissable gastronomy and multiple panoramas make the Basque Country an idyllic destination for many holidaymakers.

Biarritz is one of its popular seaside resorts with its lighthouse at Pointe Saint-Martin, the Rocher de la Vierge, the sea museum, its beaches and its surf spots. It is one of the French cities with the most Airbnb rental offers: it is indeed in the “top 20” of localities with the highest number of Airbnb listings. Out of a total of 2,556 advertisements, Biarritz comes in 11th position ahead of La Rochelle (but behind Antibes).

Renting furnished accommodation is a lucrative business for landlords. Holidaymakers, on the other hand, have the advantage of staying inexpensively during their stay on the Basque Coast, thus enjoying more tourist pleasures with the money saved on accommodation. Renters and tourists find their account there. 8,000 rentals are available during the tourist season on the Basque Coast. In Biarritz, their number has multiplied by more than 1.5 between 2016 and 2018 (2,200 announcements in 2016 against 3,400 two years later).

Biarritz continues to increase its popularity, especially since it hosted the G7 in August 2019, bringing together international luminaries.

Airbnb rental companies in Biarritz obliged to declare themselves to the town hall since 2016

The decree of April 27, 2017 requires private owners of furnished accommodation to declare themselves before renting their furnished accommodation. Studios, apartments, villas and all types of accommodation designed to accommodate passing holidaymakers are affected by this measure. The decree applies to municipalities with more than 200,000 inhabitants and to towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants located around them. However, any municipality wishing to do so can decide to oblige private landlords to register their second home with the town hall where the furnished apartment is located. The declaration allows the municipality to recover tourist taxes, large sums that it previously lost with Airbnb, where no tax burden weighed on rental companies. Those which are listed tourist destinations like Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz therefore have everything to gain from requiring rental companies to register. The Basque Coast is home to many other tourist towns, a financial windfall: Bayonne, Bidart, Hendaye, very close to the Spanish border, or the small village of Guéthary. In addition, the declaration at the town hall is a means of retrieving the identity and address of the lessor, whether for the rental of his main or secondary residence, and allows to know the number of beds rented. This helps curb the proliferation of too many furnished tourist accommodations that compete with professional hoteliers and real estate agencies and undermines the rental property market for residents, the luxury property market remains constant. The abuses are thereby reduced.

Airbnb rentals on the Basque Coast limited to 1 single accommodation in 2020

From January 1, 2020, seasonal rentals on the Basque Coast on Airbnb will be limited to one accommodation per lessor. The goal: to slow down the development of housing offered for rent in high season. In Anglet, for example, from 710 in 2016, the number of offers on Airbnb rose to 1,700, an increase of nearly 140%.

Three sectors are affected by the limitation on the number of seasonal rental accommodation. The first covers the Basque Coast and provides that the number of amenities will be reduced to one accommodation. The second, which provides for two accommodations, includes the municipalities of Arcangues, Bayonne, Bassussarry, Ahetze, Arbonne and Ascain, As for the third, it does not limit the number of amenities and includes Urcuit, Villefranque, Ustaritz, Boucau, Biriatou, Jaxtou, Mouguerre, Lahonce, Saint-Pierre-d'Irube, Larressore and Urcuit.

It is the owners who own several properties who are affected by this measure. The president of the Basque Country Urban Community considers the measure to be a step in the Local Urban Plan which will be approved in 2020 in the face of Airbnb, which appears to be a danger. The deputy PS G. Mondorge also wanted in parallel, for building permit applications, the signing of a pledge not to reserve the construction of housing for tourist rental.