Letter: Short-term rentals have a negative effect on Steamboat’s housing stock
Despite what you may have heard, there are several studies in the U.S., and many more abroad, on the effects of STRs on home prices, housing availability and the community, so stop spreading the false narrative that there is no data supporting the “Airbnb effect.”
The “Airbnb effect” is similar to gentrification in that it slowly increases the value of an area to the detriment of the local residents, many of whom are pushed out due to financial constraints.
An analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, found that the economic costs of Airbnb likely outweigh the benefits: “While the introduction and expansion of Airbnb into cities around the world carries large potential economic benefits and costs, the costs to renters and local jurisdictions likely exceed the benefits to travelers and property owners.”
Cities, tourist destinations especially, seem to fare the worse. In cities around the world, studies on the “Airbnb effect” have found that over-tourism facilitated by platforms such as Airbnb negatively impacts house prices and communities.
A separate U.S. study found that a 1% increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.018% increase in rents and a 0.026% increase in house prices. With Steamboat having a 1% quarterly growth in listings, according to Airdna.co, the cost creep for those looking to rent long-term or buy is significant.
The long-term rental sector is just as affected. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review across the U.S. found that Airbnb is having a detrimental impact on housing stock as it encourages landlords to move their properties out of the long-term rental and for-sale markets and into the short-term rental market.
It would be a mistake to say all markets are equal, but the cause and effect are clear in ski towns like Steamboat and there is data that supports it.
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