In New York, the number of short-term rentals available has dwarfed the number of apartments offered for long-term living, according to a comparison of reports from real estate firm Douglas Elliman and two number-crunching sites from vacation rental company Airbnb.
“The news comes at a time when the rental housing inventory is in a serious crisis with record prices in the wake of COVID-19 and bidding wars for available units driving up prices, putting locals looking for find a new place to live in the city”, summed up New York Post.
According to Douglas Elliman’s April market report, between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Northwest Queens there were approximately 7,500 rental apartments available. Meanwhile, more than 10,500 short-term rentals were on offer, according to the site. AirDNA. That number is even higher according to the data collection portal Inside Airbnb, which added 20,397 available spaces, reported Curbed.
Only in Manhattan, according to Crains, there were about 4,700 apartments for rent in April, a drop from the 20,743 registered that same month in 2021. Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in Manhattan was just over 1.5% in April, the second lowest number on record, according to the consultants of MillerSamuel.
Airbnb does not publicly report its own listings or booking data, and critics allege that the vacation rental company drives higher prices in big cities that remain popular with tourists, such as New York.
When asked for comment on the matter, an Airbnb representative noted that the one-to-one comparison of the reports was not entirely accurate, as Douglas Elliman’s data does not count available units in the Bronx, Staten Island, or at all. queens, while AirDNA and Inside Airbnb They claim that they do. The representative also added that Airbnb’s NYC listing supply has decreased in the last two years, while rentals and rental availability have increased, important factors to be weighed when considering the raw data.
“The data is inaccurate. The real problem is that New York City just hasn’t built enough affordable housing.” the spokesman said. “That’s why the cost of housing has gone up everywhere, for everyone. Instead of attacking the ordinary people who use their homes to help pay bills and cover the rising costs of food and other, leadership must focus on building more housing. Airbnb wants to be part of that solution and help.”
In NYC, two of the biggest problems seem to go hand in hand: the high cost of housing and the growing number of homeless people. In March, it was denounced that a “bureaucratic nightmare” was keeping 2,500 city-funded apartments empty that in theory should be occupied by homeless New Yorkers in need of mental health care and other social services.
The city’s public housing system (NYCHA) has more inhabitants than the entire population of cities like Boston or Denver. More than 2 million New Yorkers live in rent-stabilized apartmentspaying rates that have not been increased since 2013. According to Airbnb critics, led by hotels, many of their expensive listings fall into that category, unbeknownst to landlords or the public.
In theory, if the Airbnb listing in NYC is about a room in a home where there are permanent residents, it’s legal. But if the permanent inhabitants are absent and rent the entire house on Airbnb for less than 30 days, it is illegal, summed up the portal City Realty.