Airbnb Affects Home Prices & Rent – in D.C. and Across the Country

 A new report from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) published in The Wall Street Journal recently shows that Airbnb is making housing prices worse in cities across the country – and as the cost-of-living continues to skyrocket, this is a problem residents of Washington, D.C. already know all too well.

The report highlights that nationally, with every 10 percent increase in Airbnb listings came a 0.39 percent increase in rent and a 0.64 percent increase in house prices. Putting that into context, rents rose 2.2 percent annually between 2012-2016, meaning that a fifth of national rent increases in that timeframe can be attributed to the operation of Airbnb.

The “affordability crisis,” as report author Dr. Edward Kung referred to it, is disproportionately impacting low-income Americans, many of whom are now spending upwards of 40 percent of their income on rent (a 9 percentage point increase over the last 14 years).

On top of this, Americans who hope to own a home may be priced out of their ability to buy a house, with 30 percent of their income going towards home mortgages.

Airbnb is taking out the supply of long-term rentals in the housing marketplace and replacing the supply with short-term rentals, which only benefit tourists and other temporary visitors, while leaving residents and families in the cold.

Perhaps nowhere is this more prevalent than in Washington, D.C., where housing prices are forcing Washingtonians to make the hard choice between living in the city they love or leaving because the cost of living is too high.

Fortunately, D.C. City Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has introduced new legislation to protect true home sharing, and fight the skyrocketing price of rentals and home ownership by introducing new rules for Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms. The new regulations would stop commercial operators disguised as typical landlords from running illegal hotels – helping decrease rent prices, protect property options for taxpaying families and making D.C. more affordable for its residents.

Now is the time to tell your councilmember to say NO to illegal hotels by supporting this common-sense regulation.

Take action today!