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Can you predict the price of your next Airbnb?

And which amenities come at a premium?

Photo by Amina Grace on

1. These words are most commonly used to describe listings

“Quiet”, “spacious” and “restaurants” are among the top words used to describe listings of homes in both Boston and Oakland. They are commonplace, irregardless of their location.

Characteristic words of listing descriptions in Boston and Oakland

2. The majority of homes aren’t actually homes — they are full-time rental accommodation

Over 40% of the entire homes or apartments listed for rent on Airbnb in Oakland are essentially just rentals where the host spends no time in the home. Despite this proportion being lower in Boston, 1 in 2 entire homes listed are available for less than half of this coming year.

Number of entire home listings by availability proportion in 2021
Proportion of listings available in 2021

3. Watch out for price fluctuations

Price variations of 10 randomly selected listings through 2021
Average listing price variations in 2021

4. The TV and gym facilities you won’t use will cost you more than you think

Listings offer all kinds of amenities. Everything from the essential bed sheets to the more extravagant infinity pool with built-in bluetooth sound system. But which ones have the biggest influence on the price of a listing?

Importance weights of the top 5 amenities in relation to predicting Boston listings prices

5. Always read the reviews

The numeric rating of a listing on Airbnb is usually a good indication of how much other people enjoyed their stay. But the words used in the reviews of homes can do a better job at providing this information, as well as a unique insight into key aspects of the home or place.

Word cloud of top 100 words used in reviews of homes
Distribution of sentiment polarity scores for reviews of homes
  1. Check that the home you are sharing is actually shared and not just a full-time rental.
  2. Keep an eye on price history and fluctuations to ensure you are getting the best deal.
  3. Avoid price sensitive amenities that you probably won’t use or need such as a TV or access to gym facilities (you are on holiday after all).
  4. Don’t rely on the rating, read the reviews and ensure they are positively worded.

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