OTTAWA, Oct. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Airbnb activity at the current levels has not generated an economically meaningful increase in rents across Canada’s major cities, according to new research from The Conference Board of Canada in collaboration with Airbnb. The study is the first of its kind to use actual Airbnb booking data rather than information scraped from the webpage, and the first to focus on the effect of Airbnb activity on rents in the Canadian market.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in rents across Canadian cities since 2016, as well as an increase in Airbnb activity,” stated Tony Bonen, Director, Economic Research at The Conference Board of Canada. “However, contrary to the common narratives around Airbnb listings, of the 30 per cent increase in rents observed in our sample of neighbourhoods, at most less than 1 percentage point can be attributed to increased Airbnb activity.”
The Conference Board of Canada found that despite having a significant effect on the number of active high-use Airbnbs, regulations restricting short-term rentals to a host’s principal residence haven’t led to lower rents in the areas they were implemented.
Additionally, the research found that areas that implemented principal residence restrictions tended to have higher rents, suggesting these cities may have been motivated to introduce restrictions to address broader affordability concerns.
The research focused on high-use, or full-time Airbnb listings between 2016 and 2022 across 330 neighbourhoods in 19 of the largest cities across Canada. These properties were chosen as they’re more likely to increase pressure on rents by lowering long-term rental market supply, as opposed to listings that are a host’s principal place of residence and only available occasionally. The Conference Board of Canada found that the number of high-use Airbnbs relative to the number of households in a given neighbourhood is generally low, though it does vary both within and between cities in our sample.
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