Airbnb is pushing up US rents and home prices: study

UCLA researchers looked at listings in 100 cities over four years

TRD New York /
Oct.October 23, 2017 12:35 PM

From left: Airbnb Founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky (Credit: Getty Images)

Opponents of Airbnb have long claimed that the home-sharing service pushes up rents and worsens housing affordability in New York City.  Now, a new study from the University of California Los Angeles has found that is actually the case nationally.

The paper, which is yet to be published, found that a 10 percent increase in Airbnb listings can create an average 0.39 percent increase in rents and an average 0.64 percent increase in home prices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The authors of the paper looked at rents and home prices in 100 of the biggest metropolitan areas across the country between 2012 and 2016, according to the newspaper.

The increases may be small, but in those years, the rents went up by an approximate average of 2.2 percent annually, according to Edward Kung, an author on the paper and an assistant professor of economics at UCLA.

“We hypothesize Airbnb takes supply out of the long-term rental market, which caters to residents looking to rent permanent homes, and reallocates it to the short-term rental market,” Kung told the Journal. “Airbnb enables homeowners to generate income from their property, making their homes even more valuable.”

In New York City, the Office of Special Enforcement issued 1,026 short-term-rental violations during the first six months of 2017 compared to 693 in 2016, a 32 percent increase. However, use of the site is thriving in places like Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant. [WSJ]Miriam Hall


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