From domes and windmills to lighthouses and trains, unique spaces on Airbnb have been a hit with guests for well over a decade. Today, new data from Airbnb has revealed just how popular these unique spaces are in the UK and beyond. In the past two years alone, from 2019 to 2021, nights booked at unique properties in the UK have increased by over 113 per cent.
Through Airbnb Categories, which launched this May, it is easier than ever for guests to search unique listing types, discovering unique homes and Hosts they may have otherwise overlooked. A brand new OMG! Category, which has been clicked on over 2.5 million times since launch, also showcases the most unusual of all unique homes on the platform, such as this UFO in Wales.
In the UK, the new data also reveals some surprising corners of the country that are most popular with guests, who are in search of quirky or unusual space types. Top of the trending list is Stoke-on-Trent, a destination that is attracting curious visitors with its impressive selection of barn conversions in the surrounding countryside. A closer look at unique homes reveals how these listing types have become favourites, for both guests and Hosts alike.
Top trending destinations for unique listings in the UK this summer
- Isle of Lewis
- Newcastle upon Tyne
In addition, in 2021, total earnings for unique stays were higher than for regular listings, with unique listings earning nearly $1 billion on the platform globally. In the UK that figure is over £134 million – representing over 10 per cent of the global figure.
Top earning space types in the UK in 2021
- Barns: almost £11k
- Huts: over £6K
- Castles: over £14K
- Windmills: over £16K
- Domes: over £7k
- Earth houses: over £11K
- Farmstays: almost £8K
- Houseboats: almost £6K
- Lighthouse: almost £14K
- Treehouses: over £11K
While barns and farm stays thrive on Airbnb – and are among the top 10 most booked unique listing types in the UK in 2021 – it’s tiny homes that take the top spot for Brits. In 2021, almost 250,000 nights in the UK were booked in tiny homes alone, with Hosts of tiny homes in the UK collectively earning over £20m last year alone.
Airbnb has also revealed the top Most Wishlisted Unique listings in the UK for 2022 so far, with the full wishlist here.
Most wishlisted unique homes in the UK for 2022
- The Willow, Pembrokeshire, Wales
- Unique and Secluded AirShip, Drimnin, Scotland
- UFO ‘Futuro style Flying Saucer’, Redberth, England (credit: Toby Rhys-Davies)
- The original Spice Bus, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
- Luxury Remote Kabin, East Meon, England
- Dollarbeg Castle, Clackmannanshire, Scotland
- Fairytale Castle, Portpatrick, Scotland
- The Tree Tent, Somerset, England (credit: The Content Creators)
And around the world, the most wishlisted unique homes for all-time range from a rainforest treehouse in Costa Rica, to a castle in Ireland.
Most wishlisted unique homes around the world for all-time
- The Mushroom Dome Retreat & LAND of Paradise Suite (Aptos, California, United States)
- Redwood Treehouse Santa Cruz Mtns. (Watsonville, California, United States)
- Trullo aromatic green (Ostuni, Apúlia, Italy)
- Historic Tower with Views of the Lake and Countryside (Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Umbria, Italy)
- Luxurious stone villa in Crete (Chania, Kriti, Greece)
- Rainforest Tree House with Hot Springs (San Carlos, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica)
- DreamCaught Treehouses – Treehouse (Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
- Live like a King in my Castle (Galway, Ireland)
- Holiday in prussian village church (Havelsee, Brandenburg, Germany)
Host Patrick from Suffolk explains the appeal of unique listings and how the popularity of his windmill has impacted his life: “When we bought our property two years ago, we immediately decided to make the Roundhouse, a former windmill, a guesthouse. Little did we know it would be this popular with people near and far.
“People really love the quirkiness, the original structures, the cosy fireplace, and all that combined with modern elements. We are solidly booked for the summer, but even as far ahead as Christmas is almost fully booked. We feel extremely lucky to have the Roundhouse. Not only does it provide extra income to help with holidays abroad, but we also get to meet people from all over the world.”
The OMG! Category even inspired a first-of-its-size $10,000,000 OMG! Fund, which will help 100 people by giving them $100,000 each to build the world’s craziest spaces, turning off-beat musings into real-life places. Hosts or prospective Hosts who have been sitting on a unique listing idea have a shot at turning their best ideas into reality.
For anyone now interested in hosting this summer, there is still time: New listings that were activated and booked in Q1 2022 are getting booked faster compared to a year ago and prospective Hosts can learn more about how much they could earn by sharing their space on Airbnb through the What’s My Place Worth tool. The interactive tool computes the estimated income based on geography, type of listing, and also uses prior Airbnb booking data in the area. For more information, visit Airbnb.com/host.