Saturday, November 14, 2015

Is Airbnb contributing to higher housing costs and the shortage of housing here in Palm Beach County?

Here is what you find when you search Airbnb for a 2-person rental in Lake Worth checking in tomorrow (Sunday 11/15) and staying for the week. As of 9:00 am on 11/14 count at least 10 within the City. These are homes unavailable to people and families looking for a home to rent.

There is a lot of angst and consternation over the dearth of affordable housing and the continuing shortage of homes for rent. This is putting pressure on rental costs which are going up—for both homes and apartments. All over the political spectrum people claim to have all the answers. Is there another contributing factor to the housing shortage created by short-term vacation rental services like Airbnb?

Read this article from Emily Badger at Wonkblog and decide for yourself. Here is an excerpt from the article:
     The distinction around permanent homes has become central to the political fight over whether Airbnb is helping or hurting affordable housing. Airbnb argues that the income hosts earn through the site helps subsidize their own high housing costs (the data it plans to release will include the number of hosts who supposedly manage to avoid eviction or foreclosure thanks to their Airbnb income).
     But in expensive cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, critics have argued that property owners aren't simply renting out their homes for extra income, but converting homes into full-time mini-hotels, permanently removing properties from the rental supply. [emphasis added] To combat the practice, San Francisco's new regulations allow only residents to list their permanent homes for short-term rentals.