Sources for Tofino & Ucluelet presentations, May 2016

Here are the promised links for information mentioned in my recent presentations at Tofino’s town hall on short-term rentals and the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Note that for sake of time and brevity, I’ve sometimes just provided one source for the info, although there are often multiple sources. These links are provided for verification purposes and also as a starting place for future research for those who are interested. I have not included links to the descriptive statistics on Vancouver listings, because I have not yet published them, but some similar, preliminary data is in another blog post, here.

Slide 2: Worldwide growth in listings.

See these figures in my online spreadsheet with sources and dates.

For discussion of Airbnb’s projected profitability and future IPO prospects, see here:

The secret math of Airbnb’s $24-billion valuation

Here’s how Airbnb justifies its eye-popping $24 billion valuation

Sharing economy firms like Uber and Airbnb are burning cash at a phenomenal rate – but it’s ok

Slide 3: Examples of poor compliance rates in cities that have set up permit schemes

23% compliance in San Francisco, as of April 2016, even though Airbnb had considerable input into the drafting of the regulations and the rules have been in effect for about 2 years now.

10% compliance rate in Portland, as of the city’s February 2015 deadline

Also, City of Portland fines HomeAway in short-term rental crackdown

Slide 4: Concerns about loss of long-term housing

Spokesperson  Nick Papas: “We are a company founded on the belief that housing should be more accessible, more affordable, and more available.” And later in the same blog post…”Airbnb allows long time residents to stay in their homes by earning just a little extra money to help make ends meet.”

Similar statements…

Affordable housing is in the roots of our company.”

“Prop. F proponents say we are anti-affordable housing,” Chesky said. “It’s pretty weird because our founding story was to allow people to stay in their homes.”

The issue with all these statements is that Airbnb does not seem to understand (or chooses to ignore) how its business model affects different groups of people differently, i.e. owners and renters. So the questions to ask of all these statements are, for whom and at what cost?

Assignment and subletting provision of the Residential Tenancy Act (sec 34.1) states that tenants must have landlord’s written permission to sublet. The nonprofit group TRAC is an excellent free resource to refer tenants to, in case a landlord is trying to evict them in order to convert a unit to short-term rental.

Jurisdictions where regulations have been passed at least in part in response to concerns about Airbnb’s negative effects on the availability of rental and other affordable housing for residents.

—Los Angeles: Text of draft short-term rental ordinance, proposed by councillor Mike Bonin (April 2015). Also, the planning department’s guide to the proposed new ordinance.

—New York City

Statement by New York City Senator Liz Krueger to New York City Council, regarding city’s plan to increase fines for operating illegal hotels.

Illegal Hotel Complaints Up 62 Percent as City Council Grills Airbnb


—San Francisco: Recently proposed legislation.  Media coverage of proposed legislation

—Santa MonicaMayor Kevin McKeown (now a councillor): “When a landlord or other property owner takes a unit off the housing market and uses it for vacation rental, there is no permanent resident on the site, we’ve lost that part of the fabric of our community.”

This story discusses how the City of Santa Monica believes the number of illegal STRs has fallen from 1,762 to 966 as a result of its enforcement efforts.

—Amsterdam: “The presence of short stay residents in the city must not be at the expense of the quality of life in neighbourhoods, nor may it impact the availability of affordable subsidised apartments.” See also here.

—Barcelona See also here.

—Berlin: Planning minister Andreas Geisel: “We want to forbid apartments being taken from the rental market to make more profit.” The linked story discusses how short-term rental units in Berlin decreased by about 50% (to 6,700) in advance of an announced crackdown and an increase in fines to 100,000 euros.


Slide 5: Other tourism-oriented communities who have recently had to revisit their existing short-term rental regulations.—

—Aspen & other members of Colorado Association of Ski Towns




Slide 12: Common requirements in STR regulations.

The list was based on research I did for two blog posts, here and here.

Slide 14: Recommended resources

Local Governments and the Sharing Economy Report by One Earth (2015)

Airbnb, Rising Rent and the Housing Crisis in Los Angelesby Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (2015)

Airbnb in the City a report by the Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman (2014). The report is based on data the AG subpoenaed from Airbnb. This is the only case I know of where Airbnb has provided listing and booking data to a government agency. by Murray Cox has downloadable listings data for 30 cities around the world, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Tom Slee, sharing economy critic, collector of Airbnb listings data and author of “What’s Mine is Yours

Analysis of the impact of short-term rentals on housing, by the San Francisco Office of the Budget & Legislative Analyst (2015). Also see a 2016 follow-up report by the same office.

Also, not mentioned in the presentation, but some other recent stories and resources that may be of particular interest to people in Tofino and Ucluelet…

This Hawaii news re: attempts to rent out campsites on Airbnb.

The Rise of the Sharing Economy: Estimating the Impact of Airbnb on the Hotel Industry, by Georgios Zervas, Davide Proserpio and John W. Byers (January 22, 2014). Deals only with Texas hotels, but interesting.

CBRE Hotels Report: The Sharing Economy Checks In: An Analysis of Airbnb in the United States…Implications On Traditional Hotel Development And Market Performance Going Forward

And…some stories that illustrate why it’s good to be skeptical of listing info released by Airbnb – another reason why collecting your own data is a good idea.

Airbnb admits that it purged 1,500 unflattering New York listings right before data release.

Airbnb purged more than 1,000 New York listings to rig survey – report

Airbnb purged listings to create a rosier portrait, report says

Airbnb’s purged listings are already coming back


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