Studies highlight startling impact of Airbnb on New York and London

George Sell By George Sell
04 February 2018 | Updated 04 February 2018

UK/US: Two new studies have shown the huge impact Airbnb is having on the residential and hospital markets in New York and London.

The New York study was conducted by McGill Urban Planning professor David Wachsmuth commissioned by the Hotel Trades Council and trades union group AFL-CIO.

It estimates that Airbnb has driven up long-term rental prices by 1.4 per cent, or $384 per year, for the median New York City rental tenant, suggesting that both restricted availability in the long-term rental market and increased financial incentives in the short-term rental market account for this increase.

The study drew from a comparative model developed by UCLA to rule out variables that, specific to New York, might be driving those increases.

It found that a 10 per cent increase in the number of Airbnb listings equates to a 0.42 per cent increase in long-term rents. "Applying this relationship to our data, we find strong evidence that Airbnb has increased long-term rents in New York City," it says.

It also estimates that Airbnb has resulted in the removal of between 7,000 and 13,500 long-term rental units from the market, and predicts the situation will get worse.

The report also claims that 4,700 private-room listings are "ghost hotels" comprising many rooms in a single apartment or building. The McGill found that up to two-thirds of New York City area Airbnb revenues came from listings that violate city rules against short-term rentals for fewer than 30 days in buildings with more than three units with the owner not present.

Perhaps the ,most startling figure in the report was that the top 10 per cent of Airbnb hosts generated 48 per cent of all revenue in 2017

In London, Airbnb's market share nearly tripled in 2017, rising from 2.8 to 7.6 per cent of overnight stays, according to a study from Colliers, based on data scraped from Airbnb's site.

And new data from InsideAirbnb found that in 2016 the number of stays with hosts who rent more than one property trebled, showing the increase of professional landlord activity on the platform.

AirDNA founder Scott Shatford said: "Despite the 90-day rental cap, London was one the highest growth major markets in 2017. It will continue to see strong growth as business travellers migrate from hotels and Airbnb units are available at a significant discount."

The Airbnb effect will be one of the subjects debated at the Serviced Apartment Summit Americas, which takes place in New York City on April 9 and 10.

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