Miami tops US for revenue earned by multi-unit Airbnb hosts: report

Downtown Miami (Credit Azeez Bakare Studios). Inset: Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia
Downtown Miami (Credit Azeez Bakare Studios). Inset: Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia

As the battle between the hotel industry and Airbnb heats up in Miami and Miami Beach, a new report backed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association shows the Miami market had the highest share of revenue from multi-unit hosts of any market in the U.S. 

The report, conducted by CBRE Hotels America, looked at Airbnb’s bookings from October 2014 to September 2016, and found that nearly 58 percent of Airbnb’s total revenue in Miami came from hosts with multiple units. Oahu came in second in the U.S. with 53.5 percent, followed by New Orleans with 42.3 percent.

The report also found that 89 percent of Airbnb revenue in Miami comes from entire-home rentals, and that revenue generated by multi-unit, entire-home hosts increased by 105 percent during the two-year period to more than $105 million.

CBRE used data from Airdna on Airbnb’s 13 largest markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York, and excluded inactive listings that did not have a booking over the previous month.

AHLA’s report, which is called “Hosts with Multiple Units – A Key Driver of Airbnb Growth” claims that Airbnb in Miami is “moving even further away from true home sharing” and that the short-term rental giant is “exacerbating the affordable housing crisis in cities across the country.”

Airbnb issued a statement on Thursday denouncing the report. “This misleading, inaccurate report was bought and paid for by the big hotels and is the latest example of the industry’s willingness to say and do anything to protect their record profits, preserve their ability to price gouge consumers and squash their competition,” Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit said. “As the AHLA already knows, many of their member inns, motels and hotels list rooms on our platform, so these are included in the very data on ‘commercial’ listings the big hotels seem so concerned about.”

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It’s not the first time Airbnb and AHLA go head to head.

Last year, AHLA issued a report showing that more than three quarters of Airbnb revenue in Miami came from operators who listed their properties for more than 180 days of the year. Airbnb called it “factually inaccurate” and “paid for by the hotel industry.”

Top Airbnb cities in Miami-Dade like Miami and Miami Beach are fighting illegal short-term rentals. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said Thursday that he believes daily rentals create a nuisance in the city’s residential neighborhood. “The pricey lobbyists from Airbnb will tell us that we can make a deal,” Regalado said. “There’s nothing to negotiate.”

Under the city of Miami’s current zoning code, daily and weekly rentals of residential properties are illegal. However, busting Airbnb users is not so easy. Code enforcers can only cite property owners if they receive a complaint to investigate illegal rentals. In addition, officers must witness the violation for a code enforcement violation to move forward. A vote on a Regalado-sponsored resolution requiring the city to “vigorously” enforce its zoning laws was deferred until later this month.

Airbnb announced Thursday that it brought in more than $1 billion during its latest round of fundraising, valuing the nine-year-old hospitality startup at at $31 billion.