Demand for private accommodation will rocket over the royal wedding weekend. The city only has 120,000 hotel rooms -- nowhere near enough to cope with the 1.1 million visitors expected in town for Will and Kate's big day. That's left a big gap in the market for business-minded locals, who can rent out their flats and houses to royal fans for substantial sums.
Londoners often turn into temporary landlords during big-ticket events such as the London marathon or Wimbledon tennis tournament, when rental prices in the city increase by up to 50 percent. But some real estate agents are now predicting that the asking price for apartments will double or triple around the wedding weekend.
One person planning to profit from the royal rental boom is Edward Turner. The 44-year-old lawyer owns a three-bedroom flat in a Victorian apartment block in west London's desirable Kensington neighborhood -- a 15-minute subway ride from the heart of the city. "The apartment would normally rent for £900 [$1,500] a week," Turner told AOL News. "So we're looking for at least one and a half times that, or maybe more."
Turner, who says he's a fan of the royals, intends to spend the wedding weekend with his wife and two young children at their second home in southwest England. "We feel like we might be missing out on the atmosphere by being out of town, but it's going to be a busy, chaotic time in London," he said. "So on balance, we're quite happy to watch the ceremony on TV, and maybe we'll throw a party with a few friends."
Like many other would-be royal renters, Turner listed his property on londonrentmyhouse.com, which connects homeowners with visitors looking for accommodation during major London events. Site founder Matthew Parker said that he originally set up the portal to help people find housing during the London 2012 Olympics. But after receiving a flurry of requests from owners looking to let their properties for the wedding, he expanded the site.
"I'm now getting about 200 to 250 people a day visiting the site looking for accommodation during the wedding," Parker said. "And about 30 to 40 people a day are signing up and listing their properties to rent."
Parker said that many London homeowners see the wedding as a "chance to make some cash and go off on holiday. They want to escape the city during a busy weekend."
Others, however, plan to stay in the capital and enjoy the ceremony while earning some extra income by renting out a spare room. Carolyn Rodgers, a former tourist guide, is letting a double bedroom in her west London home for $68 a night over the wedding weekend.
Rodgers said there are many advantages to staying with a British family for the historic occasion. "Hotels are impersonal, and they're also going to be packed," said Rodgers, who has a listing on short-term room rental site Crashpadder.com. "But if visitors stay with someone local, we can tell them how to get into town and point out the best places to watch the procession."
Rodgers notes that local hosts also know the locations of more low-key celebrations taking place away from the crowded city center. "English people love the royal wedding, and there'll be street parties across London," she said, adding that she'll likely organize such an event with friends. "And if there's anything we can to do to involve our guests, we will."
"But we're also resonating with Americans and people overseas, because if they're coming to London for a big British cultural event, the idea of staying with a British family and getting that cultural immersion is very attractive," Rapoport said.
Rapoport -- who hosts crashpadders at his home in southwest London about 20 times a month -- said that any royal fan lodging in his spare room on April 29 can expect a truly regal experience. "We'll go the whole shebang," he said with a laugh. "There'll be bunting, pots of tea, cucumber sandwiches and of the queen above the fireplace."