Miami-Dade, Osceola Top Fla. Airbnb Counties

Miami-Dade Airbnb investors made $76M last year; in Osceola, it was $64M. Statewide, Fla. Airbnb investors brought in over $3B.

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Demetri Ballas of New York put his vacation home in Kissimmee on Airbnb, he says his only goal was to break even.

“If I could cover the home’s expenses and we could vacation there when we wanted, then that was a win,” he said.

Last year, Ballas, 50, says his five-bedroom vacation property earned more than $50,000.

Ballas did better than most, according to a new report from Airbnb, which found that hosts in Osceola County with a single listing on the home-sharing platform earned an average of $14,700 last year.

Osceola hosts performed just above the national average of $14,000. In total, Osceola was the second highest earning county in Florida, taking in $64 million for hosts with only one listing, behind Miami-Dade with $76 million, Airbnb reported.

Haven Thorn, a spokesperson for the company, would not give totals for all earners but said hosts with single listings made up more than 70% of operators on the platform.

Airbnb hosts in Florida brought in more than $3 billion last year, the company said.

Ballas said he only manages just a single listing. He converted one bedroom and the garage into an arcade and another bedroom into a 10-seat movie theater.

Bookings for his house cost between $395 and $495 per night, depending on the dates, Ballas said.

“I wanted to make it so the families could interact instead of being in their own little worlds,” the dental equipment salesman said.

He said keeping the place running from 1,600 miles away requires “a whole Rolodex of people,” from plumbers and cleaners to arcade repair people.

Osceola collects a tourist development tax from short-term rentals. Counties in Florida negotiate that tax individually with platforms.

© 2023 Orlando Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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