Short-term rental: let’s see the data | Editorial | Fold | The Weekly Source

ohn the past year, central Oregon, like many places in the United States, has seen the median home price skyrocket. As of November 2020, Bend’s median selling price for a single-family home was $ 538,500. In November 2021, it was $ 683,250. For anyone trying to buy a home or find a new rental, “sticker shock” is an understatement.

While a multitude of factors can come into play, one thing is for sure – it is getting harder and harder for a low-income worker to live here. While it’s also true that central Oregon has more jobs than before the pandemic – which makes the hiring process a challenge in this time of the Great Resignation – the cost of housing most certainly plays a role in everything. that.

With this, only those with their heads in the sand should be surprised that local governments are starting to examine the effect the so-called “country hotel” industry, aka short-term rental, is having on the property market. lodging. In a meeting earlier this month, Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman asked to combine data the city has gathered on its short-term rental program with a conversation to determine whether STRs are exacerbating the housing crisis in the region. The reaction, among our readers and others in the community, has been largely characterized by the response, “Of course it is!”

It is the instinctive reaction of those who have seen their neighbors’ homes turn into glorified hotels; who have seen long-term tenants evicted and a rotating group of vacationers with no investment in their communities come in instead. These anecdotal stories are as common in Bend as they are in places like San Francisco, a city that fought and ended up settled a lawsuit on Airbnb’s practice of allowing people to rent homes without properly registering them, as required by local ordinance.

Right now you might be thinking, “So why does the City need to study something so obvious? ”

On the one hand, data is important to accurately telling the story. In order to achieve a measurable goal, they must first have baseline data that allows them to measure ways to improve. The city council will receive the data the city collects on its program over the next few months and then hold a policy discussion on STRs in a working session in March. We support a data-driven approach in this regard. If it turns out that short-term rentals are contributing significantly to the housing crisis, then Council must act to slow the tide.

Being methodical and avoiding acting on anecdotal information is good; and yet, a lot of data has already been collected on this subject.

A 2017 study from the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California found that “a 10% increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.42% increase in rents and a 0% increase. , 76% of housing prices. Additionally, we find that the Airbnb effect is weaker in zip codes with a higher share of owner-occupiers, a result consistent with absent owners removing their homes from the long-term rental market. and put them up for sale on Airbnb. ”

A 2019 article in the “Housing Policy Debate” that examined the impact of STRs on housing prices in Washington, DC, found that “In Washington, DC, as a whole, Airbnb alone could explain an increase in housing prices. single-family home prices from 0.66% to 2.24%. In tourist hot spots, Airbnb was responsible for the increase in property prices by more than 5%. Some neighborhoods with large Hispanic and African American populations have experienced price inflation above 3% due to STRs.

Another 2021 study published in the Journal of Urban Economics, which investigated the effect of regulation on the housing market, found that “the ordinances reduced listings and prices for homes by 2%. 2%. ”

“Cities, especially the more popular ones, seem to be the worst off. In large cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Edinburgh and Los Angeles, studies on the “Airbnb effect” have shown that overtourism facilitated by vacation rental platforms like Airbnb impacts on house and community prices, described a Article 2020 in Forbes.

Bottom line: It’s good to see our local leaders tackle an important issue like this and use data to mitigate its effects. However, when this analysis is complete, we expect the results to reflect the breadth of research already done on this topic elsewhere.

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