Aron Gangbar Blog

October 4th 2019

Ontario Airbnb Vacation Market



Ontario’s Airbnb Vacation Market

Ontario’s cottage country and vacation home markets are popular weekend getaway destinations. Whether it’s Grand Bend, Bayfield, Port Stanley, Prince Edward County, Muskoka, the Kawarthas or elsewhere, it stands to reason that there are thriving short-term rental markets out there. Whether you’re looking to offset the costs of owning a second home, build equity in your future retirement dream place or are simply looking to invest in a more cash-flow positive investment property, the Airbnb market offers some amazing opportunities.

If you’re a part-time Airbnb host, you can expect to offset most (if not all) of your basic costs, and full-time hosts are almost always cash positive (sometimes to the tune of $500 or $1000 or more a month).


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Grand Bend -

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What to Expect When You Start an Airbnb

The Ontario Cottage Rental Season

The rental season in most of Ontario’s cottage areas traditionally runs from May to September, though some locations see strong Airbnb demand throughout the year, depending on the type of accommodation and where the Airbnb is located.

Ontario Cottage Airbnb Rental Rates

Rental rates for short-term accommodations vary greatly and depend on location, size, condition, style, features, reviews and marketing. Bigger properties and those with more bedrooms rent on Airbnb for more money. As of writing (September 2019), Airbnb estimates monthly income for a home that sleeps 6 people (assuming a 50% vacancy rate) as follows:

Grand Bend – $3,736/month

Bayfield  – $3682/month

Port Stanley – $2716/month

Bancroft – $2,832/month

Cobourg – $3,467/month

Haliburton  – $3,590/month

Huntsville – $2,711/month

Kawartha Lakes – $2,094/month

Manitoulin Island – $3,385/month

Muskoka – $3,709/month

Niagara-on-the-Lake – $4,262/month (Note: most of the Niagara area does not allow short-term rentals)

Port Dover – $2,404/month

Prince Edward County – $3,228/month

Wasaga Beach – $2,857/month

Individual incomes vary significantly.

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Airbnb Vacancy Rates

While vacancy rates depend on a lot of factors (location, weather and seasonality, your marketing activities and photos, reviews, etc.), you can conservatively expect to book out your home or cottage 30% of the time.

Short-Term Rental Regulations

The proliferation of Airbnbs in Ontario’s cottage country areas has impacted communities and the price of housing, in both positive and negative ways. Many areas (including Grand Bend, Bayfield and Port Stanley) are in the process of instituting rules to regulate the short-term/Airbnb market. For example, Prince Edward County has passed bylaws requiring licensing in 2020 and grandfathering current Airbnb rentals while restricting new ones.

Make sure to talk to a local REALTOR to understand the implications before you buy a property.

Setting The Price of Your Airbnb

The easiest way to find out how much you can rent your property for is by looking at similar properties in similar areas with similar features, on popular websites. Your local agent can likely guide you as well. Prices vary a lot depending on what season it is and of course, holidays and big festivals. A few other tips to keep in mind:

Managing Airbnb Bookings/Deposits

Some best practices for managing bookings:

Maintaining Your Airbnb  Short-Term Rental

Don’t underestimate the benefits of having some reliable local help to assist in property maintenance. You’ll need:

Risks Of Airbnb-ing Your Cottage

Like every profitable investment, the Airbnb rental market is not without risks. You may encounter problems finding affordable insurance, issues getting financing, bad guests, damage and theft, lower than expected nightly rates and higher-than-expected vacancy. You’ll likely get frustrated at some point by the amount of time you spend managing it (or paying others to do it – and of course dealing with all the usual cottage maintenance items. The biggest risk of all is changing local regulations that impact your ability to rent short-term at all.

If you’re thinking of starting an Airbnb at your cottage or vacation home, make sure to educate yourself, balance the risk and partner with a Realtor who understands the unique aspects of this marketplace. If I'm not familiar with a particular market, I’d be happy to connect you with a local expert in your chosen area.

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