NYC Renters Paid an Extra $616 Million Thanks to Airbnb

Marco Green
May 4, 2018

The rise of popular home-sharing site Airbnb is eating into New York's apartment supply, contributing to surging rents across the city, according to a study released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Thursday.

The Comptrollers office tracked the "exponential growth" in AirBnB listings between 2009 and 2016 to determine the effect on rents in New York City-and discovered that AirBnB is worsening the affordability crisis in New York.

Bloomberg said Airbnb Inc. disputed the study's findings, calling them "wrong on the facts" and containing "substantive issues with the methodology".

To calculate the impact of Airbnb, Stringer looked at instances in which units were removed from the rental market because owners listed them on Airbnb instead.

For every 1% of all the available rental units in a neighborhood listed on AirBnB, the study found rental rates went up 1.5%.

Leading the way are the hipster havens of Greenpoint and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, which accounted for 8.3 percent of the city's almost 40,000 Airbnb listings in 2016, and saw an average monthly rent increase of $659 between 2009 and 2016, tops in the city.

About half the Airbnb listings were found to be from units in Manhattan, especially in Midtown and lower Manhattan neighborhoods such as Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Soho.

Airbnb listings are primarily concentrated in Manhattan, which represented 52 percent of all listings in 2016, and Brooklyn, which constituted 35 percent of listings.

"From Bushwick to Chinatown and in so many neighborhoods in between, affordable apartments that should be available to rent never hit the market because they are making a profit for Airbnb", Stringer said in the report.

Most Airbnb hosts share the homes in which they live, and don't permanently remove housing from the market, the San Francisco-based startup said in a rebuttal of Stringer's report.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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