How much does Airbnb really affect rents and housing prices? | 1/31/2018 | Staff
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It's no longer surprising to hear that Airbnb is taking long-term rentals off the market, but USC researchers are finding there's more to the story. Not only is Airbnb impacting long-term housing stock negatively, it's actually increasing rents and housing prices.

Davide Proserpio, assistant professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business, is researching Airbnb's impact on cities. In a recently revised working paper, he and his colleagues showed the impact of Airbnb on the housing and rental markets. Using public Airbnb information and Zillow ZIP code and U.S. Census Bureau data, they were able to look at the company's effects more closely while controlling for things like gentrification and economic trends.

Percentage - Increase - Rent - Housing - Prices

The percentage increase in rent and housing prices might sound small at first: A 1 percent increase in Airbnb listings led to a 0.018 percent increase in rental rates and 0.026 percent increase in housing prices. But consider that the median year-on-year growth rate in Airbnb listings was roughly 28 percent across ZIP codes in the paper's data.

"This is not so small if compared with the year-over-year rent and price growth," Prosperio said—about 3.2 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.

Data - Estimates - Airbnb - Contribution - Price

Using their data and estimates, they calculate a year-over-year Airbnb contribution to rent and price growth equal to 0.59 percent and 0.82 percent, respectively. "Suppose house prices go up 6 percent; Airbnb is probably causing 0.8 of that 6 percent," he said.

Overall, Airbnb probably contributes about one-fifth of the average annual increase in U.S. rents and about one-seventh of the average annual increases in U.S. housing prices, he told the Harvard Business Review.

Dowell - Myers - Professor - USC - Price

Dowell Myers, a professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy, thinks it's possible the working paper underestimates Airbnb's impact.

"The impact of moving a whole unit from long-term occupancy to short term is equivalent to a demolition,"...
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