Thursday, November 5, 2015

“Airbnb reducing availability of rental space”

Airbnb wins a battle in SF but is still facing a war

Critics of Airbnb want to limit and further regulate its operations because they say it reduces the amount of residential space to rent, especially in overheated and tourist areas like San Francisco, 'disrupts neighbourhoods' and jeopardises the jobs of hotel workers. Cities and other critics are hindered by lack of information, which Airbnb isn't too keen to share. The company spent nearly $9million to defeat a 'greater regulation' proposal in SF - with perhaps more cities taking up the cudgel against it.

Posted by icarus @ 03:46 PM (4985 views)
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3 thoughts on ““Airbnb reducing availability of rental space”

  • Rent-controlled tenants, especially in NYC, are using airbnb to sublet – at, of course, the market rate. A fair (and rapidly rising) proportion of airbnb users are doing short-term rentals on a commercial scale (multiple units, let for over 180 days p.a. – making them unavailable for long-term renters) while avoiding taxes and regulations that apply to hotels. Overcrowding in hostel-like accommodation is also facilitated by airbnb. So there’s more to it than just a middle-class couple occasionally renting a spare bedroom to help with the mortgage (and thus helping to drive up prices).

    There’s a good report on all this by New York State –

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  • This ignores the FACT that additional demand will in time encourage moar building. There could also be a shift from hotel to short term air bnb lettings, or this could create a boom in tourism, particularly domestic tourism that taps suppressed demand and stimulates the tourism industry out of season and indeed all year around to build prosperity in general. I know that I have taken a number of holidays I would not otherwise have taken without Airbnb. It also makes business trips more practical and note, the properties available are often in places not served by hotels. In the short term they are correct, but in the long term the economy is more dynamic than that and history shows that resisting technological progress to protect the buggy industry on the advent of cars was doomed to failure.

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  • Most of the NYC criticism is centred around the use of airbnb to get around regulations and taxes that apply to competing accommodation providers, or to sublet a rent-controlled (courtesy of the city) apartment at market airbnb rates.

    Where’s the evidence that airbnb encourages more building? It could just as well cause price rises in existing stock (‘sublet a room or two to help pay the mortgage’).

    Nobody is saying ‘airbnb is all bad’. In the places where we holiday there are plenty of good, cheap b&bs so there’s little requirement for airbnb accommodation, but in some countries there is little alternative to expensive hotels, so the service would come into its own there.

    Airbnb is hardly a technological advance.

    You’ve ‘taken a number of holidays’ but you’ve been telling us about the sacrifices, including ‘no holidays’, you’ve made to be able to afford deposit/mortgage.

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