According to a new study by McGill University, the vacation rental platform, Airbnb, is hurting more than the hotel industry: it is increasing rents and house prices in Toronto.
This is not news, per se: rumors about the link between Toronto’s short-term rents market boom and the lack of affordable housing have been in the headlines for years.
What is remarkable about McGill’s report, described as “innovative” by The Globe and Mail, is that it is the most comprehensive analysis of the impact of Airbnb on the housing offer in Canada to date.
“More than 31,000 homes across the country were rented so often on Airbnb in 2018 that they were probably withdrawn from the long-term rental offer,” explains The Globe, which obtained an exclusive copy of the report.
“As the popularity of short-term rents has soared, the effect on rental offerings in Canada’s cities, towns and rural areas has grown … even as local officials implement rules that point to the short-term rental industry. ”
In fact, the new rules aimed at the Airbnb lords were supposed to have come into force in the city of Toronto last summer, but their implementation was delayed by the procedure until at least the end of August.
The rules, which have already been approved by the City Council, will require anyone renting a short-term space in their homes (and only in the homes they own) to register in the city. They will also restrict the amount of time someone can rent a space in their home up to 180 nights per year.
City council members asked Airbnb, specifically, to start preemptively enforcing the rules in January, but unregulated “ghost hotels” are still a big problem for condominium boards and regulators alike.
“In 2018, the platform had a daily average of 128,000 active listings in Canada,” writes The Globe and Mail of Airbnb, noting that the lack of rental construction, rapid population growth and high housing property costs. They are also responsible for the shortage of homes.
That’s a 25 percent increase in available and active units compared to last year, according to McGill researchers. Airbnb hosts also saw a 40 percent increase in their profits between 2017 and 2018, with a whopping $ 1.8 billion in revenue earned across the country.
The authors of the report do acknowledge that the houses that are frequently rented through Airbnb are “still a small fraction of the total of homes” in Canada, but they also point out that the lists tend to be highly concentrated in occupied urban centers.
“The areas of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver accounted for about half of the average daily listings for Canada in 2018, and the hosts raised $ 710 million, 27 percent more than in 2017,” says the article based on the study of McGill.
“They are also where the greatest rental offer is threatened: 40% of the approximately 31,000 homes that were rented frequently last year were found in those cities, representing more than 12,000” lost “housing units.
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