The SilverDoor Market Update - March 2023
The SilverDoor Market Update - March 202327th February 2023
The trends we’re seeing replicate the way travel - and the related pent-up demand - opened up across the globe, starting in the West and moving East. After a delayed travel restart, APAC is now experiencing its peak of supply and demand constraints - similar to those we saw EMEA and AMER in Autumn 2022.
What are the current serviced apartment trends?
Europe, Middle East and Africa
with Serena Dines
Group Head of Revenue
High rent and lack of supply in the private rental market are leading to longer stays in serviced apartments for relocating business travellers, with our average length of stay up 12% from 41 nights to 46, compared with the same period last year. Higher interest rates are also prompting renters in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) market to continue to rent rather than joining the housing ladder. Travel volumes overall have reduced, with increased caution on business travel and some corporates are being stricter on what trips they will allow.
Pet-friendly accommodation requests have increased to 5% of our total enquiries globally in 2022, up from 1% in 2019 and there is a clear trend to combine multiple trips into one. Budgets are sensitive with some companies enforcing strict rate caps and stronger than ever expectations to see savings on longer stays. The good news is bookers have more choice than ever due to the high amount of fresh stock being brought onto the market from new serviced apartment operators and aparthotel buildings.
Another notable trend is the development of hybrid ‘build-to-rent/serviced apartment’ (BTR) properties. These hybrid properties have piqued interest from real estate investors overseas – offering reduced risk against any potential market and economic forces. BTR properties often come with communal facilities like gyms, workspaces, and gardens, challenging the traditional rental market.
with Sophie Brinsley
Vice President - APAC
Business travel is picking up in the APAC region, and we’re seeing a real trend towards booking trips which combine business and leisure. Sustainable travel is gathering momentum, with corporate ESG strategies continuing to influence a shift toward greener travel programmes. Work-from-home culture is contributing to this, and we are receiving a higher volume of requests for apartments with additional workspaces.
Some businesses have imposed a hiring freeze which has already seen a direct impact on the volume of relocations, but business travel continues steadily – albeit with tighter budgets - and rates are still pretty buoyant.
with Stephen Homsey
Regional Manager - North America
Business travel levels increased throughout 2022, and the first quarter of 2023 has seen this continue. In fact, demand is higher in Q1 2023 than Q1 2022. SilverDoor Americas has been busy onboarding new clients for the Americas market and we forecast a busy turn from Winter to Spring. The average length of stay has levelled out, increasing by only 1.4% on last year - from 69 nights to 70.
That being said, we are still seeing a high volume of short-term booking requests. SilverDoor has been increasing its capabilities of accommodating these sub-30-day bookings in key cities across the region. We have onboarded a number of property operators to facilitate this demand, including Sentral, Placemakr and Waterwalk - bolstering our provision of short-term accommodation which includes the likes of Sonder, AKA and Mint House.
What is the current demand for serviced apartments?
Europe, Middle East and Africa
SilverDoor has experienced strong winter trading, which slightly eased off toward the end of the quarter, helping to stabilise pricing. Notably, we are seeing a distinct seasonality being reintroduced to rates. Whilst rates have reduced significantly in London, Dublin, Berlin and Amsterdam, cities like Stockholm and Milan continue to see strong demand relative to supply. In particular, demand in Cork and Cape Town has outstripped supply – with strong business travel and busy events calendars. New serviced apartment operators are welcome in these cities.
Corporates are beginning to plan bookings ahead, securing stock early to ensure lower rates and a wider choice of serviced apartments. This makes sense for recurring programmes like graduate schemes and internships where dates are certain and fixed, and long lead times will be reflected in the rate and range of options on offer.
Client demand fluctuates from city to city across the region. Availability in Singapore is now very healthy, after being one of the most challenging locations last year. Australia’s current peak season means that the top tier cities like Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane are especially busy, and rates are peaking. As a result, there has been an ongoing rush by many Australian property providers to continue to take on more stock, leading to competition among providers.
Sourcing supply in Tokyo has been a challenge since the borders reopened. Demand for accommodation in the Japanese capital remains high. There remains a shortage of larger unit inventory across the city, and there are more individual searches for residential units that incorporate servicing and utilities. Other key cities like Seoul and Bangkok have seen increased rates, too.
Hong Kong pricing remains steady due to the low demand. Likewise, we anticipated a larger demand for accommodation in China than we have seen since their border reopening.
Traditionally, North American business travel slows down in the winter months, but demand remains steady as we enter 2023. Some markets, including Florida and Phoenix, are seeing noticeable increases in business travel. The warmer climates, spring training for Major League Baseball, and other seasonal events and activities are all impacting this demand. Likewise, New York is seeing high demand relative to serviced apartment supply.
Relative to hotels, corporate housing seems to be in higher demand than ever, with 31% of surveyed business travelers planning to use short-term rental services in 2023. Supply is growing in key regions but may not be able to keep up with demand.
Are serviced apartment rates increasing?
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Rates across all categories have fallen compared to the peak rates of last year and have been steadily coming down. However, rates remain higher than last year’s first quarter. We’ve essentially seen a waning of the unprecedented demand that followed the pandemic, but cost of living factors have ensured rates are still higher than the same period last year.
The average rate, across all apartment types is up 15% on the same period last year, but remains 13% lower than the peak of demand seen in 2022.
There is a shift towards more dynamic rates due to the uncertain demand and economic outlook. Generally, property operators are much less inclined to contract annual pricing, or they are doing so conservatively. Rates have indeed lowered since their peak in 2022, but may climb in 2023.
Unlike EMEA and AMER where we have seen a reduction and levelling off on Average Daily Rate (ADR), APAC continues to see rates increasing across almost all categories. The post-pandemic wave of demand is still being experienced across the APAC region.
The reduced demand of the Americas’ winter season usually brings rates down. However, rates are steadily increasing as we enter 2023. In New York, rising rates seem to have reached a plateau for the time being. We are expecting these could eventually increase slightly more but remain below the 2022 rates.
We want to hear from you! Whether you're a business traveller, a property provider, mobility and relocation manager, or simply have an interest in the sector, leave a comment below and offer your own insight.
Corporate travellers - have you noticed any of these trends in your own booking habits? In what ways have any of these trends affected the booking process in 2023 so far?
Property operators - do these trends reflect your 2023 figures so far? What do you predict for the next quarter?
Mobility managers - what trends do you forecast for global mobility and relocation? What would you like to see in the market going forward to align the sector offering with client demands?
If you would like specific topics or trends to be discussed in a future SilverDoor Market Update, get in touch with us at [email protected] to have your say.