Minnesota's Airbnb hosts cash in on graduation ceremonies

Hundreds of thousands of dollars changed hands during commencement weeks.

You figure you could make a killing renting out your place when the Super Bowl and Final Four arrive in Minneapolis. But it turns out that graduation is also a lucrative time for Airbnb hosts.

The home-share website released statistics showing how much rentals spiked during commencement ceremonies in the Twin Cities, Duluth and Mankato, with hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanging hands as proud parents looked for places to stay.

Minneapolis is the most popular Airbnb market in the state, and during commencement weekend in mid-May, rentals spiked by 37 percent as 1,600 people paid for rooms, apartments and houses.

This helped hosts rake in a total income of $552,000 over several nights around commencement – of which 6-12 percent goes to Airbnb for service fees. Hosts also have to pay local taxes. The average cost to rent accommodation during that period was $80 per night, Airbnb told GoMN.

Around UMD in Duluth, during the commencement dates of May 12-13, there were 101 Airbnb rental – a 27 percent rise from the previous week, with visitors spending a combined $11,000 for their stays.

In the fledgling market Mankato, home to MSU-Mankato, the 25 Airbnb rentals taken out in and around commencement on May 6 represented a 317 percent spike on the week before, when there were just six rentals during the same period.

The only market where there wasn't a noticeable increase in rentals was St. Paul. The 380 people renting during the University of St. Thomas commencement ceremony was the same figure as the week before.

Airbnb in the Twin Cities

More and more Minnesotans are signing up to be Airbnb hosts.

In February, Airbnb said there were 800 hosts in Minneapolis and 200 in St. Paul. Since then, it's increased to 850 and 240 respectively.

There are 25 hosts in Duluth and 10 in Mankato, the company said.

Just over 40 percent of people who list their properties on Airbnb rent out extra, unused rooms in their houses.

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