[UPDATE] AirBnB, AirDNA Refute Comptroller’s Claims, Say Housing Price Study Is “Deeply Flawed”

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After Comptroller Scott M. Stringer’s office published a study blaming AirBnB for rising rents in New York, the private-rental company has refuted the study’s claims.

One of the key factors, they say, is that the study misinterprets the data scraped from AirDNA, a third-party company.

“AirDNA fully supports Airbnb in condemning the Comptroller’s analysis,” said AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford. “The Comptroller is once again using Airbnb as a scapegoat for a housing affordability crisis that has been growing for decades. 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% of the total housing supply—it is impossible for Airbnb to have a material impact on rental prices.”

“The very foundation of the report is deeply flawed: assuming that all Airbnb Hosts are renting their homes 365 nights a year is akin to conducting a traffic study that assumes all cars in New York are on the road all day, every day,” said Chris Lehane AirBnB’s Head of Global Policy.

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In a longer post online, AirBnB goes on the refute much of the study, claiming they they’ve had no measurable effect on rental prices in New York. The study can be found here for further reading.

A new report from City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer’s office alleges that AirBnB cost New Yorker renters upwards of $600 million in elevated rent in 2016. Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bed-Stuy are among the hardest hit.

The Comptrollers office tracked the “exponential growth” in AirBnB listings between 2009 and 2016 to determine the effect on rents in New York City—and discovered that AirBnB is worsening the affordability crisis in New York.

Rents rose the fastest in Brooklyn over the time period in the study, going up 35%, or about $340/month.

Greenpoint and Williamsburg have been hit the hardest, with average rents rising $659/month between 2009 and 2016—a 63% increase. The Comptrollers report attributes $123 of that increase directly to AirBnB.

Similarly, Bed-Stuy saw an increase of 47%, or $407/month, while Bushwick was hit with an increase of 40%, or $369/month.

Airbnb Total Listings by Year, 2010 – 2017 (Via Comptroller’s Report)

For every 1% of all the available rental units in a neighborhood listed on AirBnB, the study found rental rates went up 1.5%. In Greenpoint and Williamsburg, 8.3% of available rentals were on AirBnB, while Bed-Stuy and Bushwick are both around 5%.

“For years, New Yorkers have felt the burden of rents that go nowhere but up, and Airbnb is one reason why… affordable apartments that should be available to rent never hit the market, because they are making a profit for Airbnb,” said Comptroller Stringer. “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.”

The full report from the Comptroller, which provides detailed breakdowns by neighborhood, can be found online.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. My old landlord started turning the whole building into airbnb’s as people moved out and I got so tired of crashing suitcases in the hallway at all hours and reporting it and nothing happening that I finally moved out.

    I lost track of all the complaints and follow-ups but the ones I can find and many others were closed out with “NO ILLEGAL OCCUPANCY OBSERVED AT TIME OF INSPECTION.”

    I filed another one with a link to the listing along with pictures of people coming and going with suitcases, and almost got excited when it was updated that they sent it to the “Office of Special Enforcement” that deals with this stuff and included the link THAT IS STILL ACTIVE (actual link removed) …but a month later they were “unable to determine transient use” and closed it out??
    08/22/2016 NO VIOLATION WARRANTED FOR COMPLAINT AT TIME OF INSPECTION
    08/17/2016 UNABLE TO DETERMINE TRANSIENT USE
    07/12/2016 COMPLAINT REFERRED TO MAYOR’S OFFICE OF SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT
    07/12/2016 REFER OSE JURISDICTION FOR AIRBNB.COM/ROOMS/REDACTED

    Of course the listing for my old place is still active at the same URL as the report from… almost 2 years ago? Gee I wonder why this keeps getting worse.

  2. Airbnb is now using the tactics of the tobacco companies. “It’s a deeply flawed study because we don’t like the results.”

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