Comptroller Stringer’s report finds Airbnb responsible for nearly 10 percent of citywide rental increase between 2009 and 2016.
By Forum Staff
Renters citywide paid a staggering $616 million in additional rent in 2016 due to the growth of Airbnb listings, according to a new report released on Thursday by City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging. According to “The Impact of Airbnb on NYC Rents,” which analyzes data for the years 2009 to 2016, tenants in neighborhoods across the five boroughs have seen their rents jump in no small measure because of the heavy concentration of Airbnb listings in their communities.
“For years, New Yorkers have felt the burden of rents that go nowhere but up, and Airbnb is one reason why. From Bushwick to Chinatown and in so many neighborhoods in-between, affordable apartments that should be available to rent never hit the market, because they are making a profit for Airbnb,” Stringer said. “Airbnb has grown exponentially at the expense of New Yorkers who face rising rents and the risk of being pushed out of communities they helped build. If we’re going to preserve the character of our neighborhoods and expand our middle class, we have to put people before profits. It’s that simple.”
In this analysis, Stringer said he sought to measure the “Airbnb effect” by the removal of units from the rental market because they were listed on Airbnb by the owners instead. The comptroller’s office compared the growth in what rents would have been if there had been no Airbnb effect to what they actually were.
Among the report’s findings:
• In aggregate, NYC renters had to pay an additional $616 million in 2016 due to price pressures created by Airbnb;
• For each 1 percent of all residential units in a neighborhood listed on Airbnb, rental rates in that neighborhood went up by 1.58 percent.
• Between 2009 and 2016, approximately 9.2 percent of the citywide increase in rental rates can be attributed to Airbnb.
According to the comptroller, New Yorkers have been squeezed by rising rents, which rose 25 percent on average citywide between 2009 and 2016, or $279 per month. Rents rose most rapidly in Brooklyn, by 35 percent ($340 per month) followed by Queens by 22 percent ($242 per month); the Bronx by 21 percent ($171 per month); Manhattan by 19 percent ($276 per month); and Staten Island by 14 percent ($129 per month).
During the same period, Airbnb listings skyrocketed, from 1,000 in 2010 to over 43,000 in 2015, before declining to slightly under 40,000 in 2016 according to data from AirDNA (Airbnb Data and Analytics) – most in violation of existing State or City laws.
AirDNA slammed Stringer’s report as “deeply flawed.”
“The comptroller is once again using Airbnb as a scapegoat for a housing affordability crisis that has been growing for decades,” AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford said. “In New York City, just over 5,300 Entire Homes were rented on Airbnb for six months or more in the past year, representing 0.2 percent of the total housing supply – it is impossible for Airbnb to have a material impact on housing prices.”