Airbnb not exacerbating Vancouver?s rental woes ? academic

Thursday, January 1st, 1970

Only 0.11% of Vancouver?s rentals is using AirBnB

Ephraim Vecina
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Contrary to various experts’ observations, a B.C. business professor stated that Airbnb is not a major contributor to the extraordinary home price growth in the Vancouver market.

Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’ Sauder School of Business noted that the effects of Airbnb are often misapprehended, as the sharing service is popular in high-end neighbourhoods that are expensive to begin with—and thus, the company cannot be said to be responsible for the high cost of living in these communities.

“If Airbnb eats up 1 per cent over a period of five years, that is probably driving prices up by 2 per cent,” Davidoff told The Globe and Mail. “The impact just doesn’t look as big as you might think.”

The comments backed the latest figures from Airbnb, which showed that only 320 units in the city “rent out their properties often enough to make more money than they would from long-term renters”. This amounted to only 0.11 per cent of Vancouver’s nearly 300,000 housing units.

“Just over 8,500 listings – about 3 per cent of the Vancouver housing stock – participating in occasional homesharing is not a material driver of housing prices,” Airbnb head economist Peter Coles said. Roughly half of the occasional homesharers rented out their properties for less than 30 nights, he added.

Coles said that Vancouver hosts earn an average of only $6,600 per annum—certainly not enough to influence the city’s home prices one way or another, the company argued.

Ample criticism has been heaped upon Airbnb and similar platforms, which have been blamed for gobbling up available supply and in turn driving up prices. Vancouver officials are currently mulling regulatory changes that are expected to strictly govern short-term rental firms.

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