New Study: The Economic Costs and Benefits of Airbnb

by on February 4, 2019 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

We now know San Diego County was the second most popular California destination for Airbnb users in 2018; hosts saw $213 million in income from some 1 million guests who stayed in Airbnb rentals. (LA County was first with 2.7 million guests.) San Diego Union-Tribune

Yet a new study out from the Economic Policy Institute reveals the economic costs and benefits of Airbnb – and their summary had a far-less rosy picture of how short-term rentals affect cities and counties.

In their cost-benefit analysis, they found “the costs to renters and local jurisdictions likely exceed the benefits to travelers and property owners.”

  • The economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh the benefits.
  • Airbnb might, as claimed, suppress the growth of travel accommodation costs, but these costs are not a first-order problem for American families.
  • Rising housing costs are a key problem for American families, and evidence suggests that the presence of Airbnb raises local housing costs.
  • The potential benefit of increased tourism supporting city economies is much smaller than commonly advertised.
  • Property owners do benefit from Airbnb’s capacity to lower the transaction costs of operating short-term rentals, but the beneficiaries are disproportionately white and high-wealth households.
  • The shift from traditional hotels to Airbnb lodging leads to less-reliable tax payments to cities.
  • City residents likely suffer when Airbnb circumvents zoning laws that ban lodging businesses from residential neighborhoods.
  • Because Airbnb is clearly a business competing with hotel lodging, it should be subject to the same taxation regime as hotels.

For the full report – go here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Obkid February 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

The No-Sh1t report came out

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Avatar triggerfinger February 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Astonishing!!!!

Also, coal is black.

Reply

Avatar Chris February 7, 2019 at 1:49 pm

The irony of all this is that most people who are fighting against the influx of Airbnb in their communities have used it themselves when traveling. And yes that includes me.

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