REPORT: D.C. short-term rental ordinance could return more than 5,500 homes back into city’s housing stock in the near term

AirbnbWATCH released a report today with concerning statistics and trends regarding short-term vacation rentals in and provided a positive analysis of the recent proposed short-term rental ordinance.

Click here to download copy of report on D.C. short-term rentals and analysis of proposed STR ordinance. 

One of those troubling statistics:  D.C.’s affordable and mid-range housing has declined from 60 to 40 percent of stock since 2002.  With a 35 percent growth of Airbnb rentals over the last two years in D.C., these short-term rentals are taking more and more permanent housing options off the market.

The report goes on to point out that most of the Airbnb growth is due to commercial investors buying up residential homes to rent as short-term rentals.  With two to three times the investor concentration of Airbnbs than cities such as New York and San Francisco, D.C. must address the threat posed by these professional investors now says AirbnbWatch, who put together the analysis.

“Washington, D.C. has an affordable housing crisis on its hands, which is exacerbated by the proliferation of professional short-term rentals. The city council must act now to stop the out-of-control downward spiral in the city’s permanent housing stock,” stated Lauren Windsor, spokesperson for AirbnbWATCH.  “The lack of regulation has made short-term rental ownership a lucrative business for investors, at the expense of everyday D.C. struggling to keep a roof over their heads. D.C. should follow the lead of other cities and eliminate professional short-term investor rentals.”

While the report raises concerning trends regarding the negative impacts of short-term rentals on Washington, D.C.’s permanent residential housing, the analysis shows that the proposed ordinance proposed by City Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, that is expected to come up for city council’s consideration this fall, would have a positive impact in protecting the city’s housing stock.

The report illustrates that under the current growth trend, approximately 8,750 of current short-term vacation rentals in Washington, D.C. would rise to more than 13,370 rentals by July 2020. This would remove another 4,600 or more residential homes from the city’s housing stock.

However, if the Washington, D.C. ordinance is enacted, the number of short-term vacation rentals would decline to under 6,500 rentals. The gap between Washington, D.C.’ number of short-term vacation rental listings under the “as-is” status quo versus the expected reduction effect of the proposed short-term ordinance could be 5,500 or more within the next two years.

“Bottom line, the proposed short-term rental ordinance as-is could increase Washington, D.C.’ permanent housing stock by more than 5,500 homes over the next two years by eliminating professional short-term rental investing,” stated Windsor. “This will not only return thousands of homes to the city’s long-term housing supply, but protect thousands more from being bought up by investors. The Washington, D.C. City Council should enact the ordinance without delay.”

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