Wall Street Journal:
Airbnb, an online listing service for short-term accommodations, has long been criticized for driving up apartment rents from Venice Beach to Hell’s Kitchen.
Critics say that people who lease apartments and rent them out to tourists through Airbnb are willing to pay more rent, driving up prices for everyone. Also, critics say, landlords are simply putting units on Airbnb themselves, instead of renting them, decreasing the supply of long term rentals.
Now new research, commissioned by the company from an academic at the University of British Columbia, shows that Airbnb pushes up rents slightly in some major cities across the country.
In New York City, for example, Thomas Davidoff, an assistant professor at the Sauder School of Business, found that Airbnb increases the price of a one-bedroom unit by about $6 a month. In San Francisco, he found that it increases rents by on average about $19 a month.
Mr. Davidoff relied on data provided by the company that said that 80% to 90% of its 1 million listings are residents sharing the home in which they live. He didn’t count those as units lost from the overall housing stock because locals can still live there long-term.
Even without relying on Airbnb’s estimates, Mr. Davidoff said that if one assumes that all listings are investors renting out units solely on Airbnb, the increases are modest. In New York, rents would likely go up around $24 a month and San Francisco around $76 a month.
Airbnb listings aren’t evenly spread across most cities but tend to be concentrated in prime neighborhoods, meaning that popular places could face more pressure on rents than others.