Over Half of San Diego’s Near 4800 Short Term Rentals Between OB and La Jolla
A new study out is trumpeting the contributions that the short term rental market is making to the San Diego economy. Millions in hotel and sales taxes – wow! And hundreds of jobs! Yea!
Would it surprise you that the new study was commissioned by Airbnb and two vacation rental marketing firms? It was.
The study was conducted by the National University System Institute for Policy Research for $10,000 and commissioned by Airbnb, underwritten by the San Diego Vacation Rental Managers Alliance and the San Diego Short-term Rental Alliance.
And what the study shows is that there are more vacation rentals at the beach than previously thought.
Erik Bruvold, the study’s author, is president and CEO of the National University institute. Even he was surprised at the numbers as he found that of the some 4,765 (non-shared) short term rentals in San Diego, 54.4% – or 2,575 – were listed from Ocean Beach to La Jolla. 31.7 percent of shared units are also in this coastal area. The next popular neighborhood was downtown.
Here are the other numbers from the report which are being highly touted as you can imagine – but they must, of course, be viewed as a double-edged sword- are for the fiscal year 2015:
- guests generated 456,000 room-nights in the city- okay, close to half a million room-nights – outside hotels and motels -;
- and spent $110.3 million to rent the units – units which have been pulled off the long-term rental market, jacking up rent prices, and hacking away at an already tight rental market;
- they spent $86.4 million on food, transportation and other retail items subject to sales tax over the same period;
- Tax revenues included $11.6 million in transient-occupancy or hotel taxes;
- nearly $4.9 million in sales tax with an estimated $340,000 of that going to the city alone.
- there are 6,116 short term rentals in SD.
- 70.8% are single units or unoccupied homes or apartments;
- 1,382 or 29.2 percent of the total were shared units, private rooms or shared rooms in local homes.
Yet, all these figures – as San Diego U-T writer Roger Showley pointed out, are low compared to the entire industry:
” … the short-term rental figures are dwarfed by what is generated by the regular hotel industry. In 2014, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority, local hotels generated 11.3 million room-nights, earned $1.65 billion in room revenue and sent more than $180 million to the city treasury in room taxes.”
In terms who are renting the units, author Bruvold claimed that the people offering homes for rent typically are seeking extra income, and that others for short term rent are owned as second homes and owners offer them to the market to generate income rather than leave them vacant.
This claim contradicts other studies which showed that the majority of units being offered at sites like Airbnb are by vacation rental companies and people with more than one house or unit.
Moving on, the U-T article on the “glowing” report failed to address the full significance of the impact of short term rentals on local neighborhoods, boiling it all down to a simple “annoyance” of the neighbors by STVR guests. No mention of the loss of community by too many STVRs in a neighborhood.
Plus, the U-T piece didn’t mention any organization or group on the other side of the issue, such as the Save San Diego Neighborhoods.
At least NBC7 mentioned the opposition – but got their name wrong:
… a local coalition is calling on the San Diego City Council to implement stricter restrictions for short-term rental users, saying they are fed up with “noise, traffic and other neighborhood nuisances.”
The group called Preserve Our Communities (sic) issued a statement last month that it wants the city of San Diego to adopt these guidelines for rentals: a minimum of 21 days in unoccupied properties and for the city to place a cap on the number of days properties that can be used as short-term rentals.
The group also wants the city to require short-term rental properties to comply with the same health and safety regulations required at hotels and motels. The coalition also wants the city to dedicate a funding source for code compliance as well as give neighbors the authority to take legal actions against nuisance property owners.