AirBnb and the pandemic – The New York Times
When Covid-19 restrictions took travelers off the road, it was no surprise that the short-term rental industry suffered. A new study of top 20 Airbnb markets conducted by LendingTree showed that out of 19, the number of short-term rental listings fell sharply between May 2020 and March 2021.
Of the 20 markets examined, only Broward County, Florida saw an increase in listings (up 2 percent). In all other markets, they fell by at least 10 percent. Jersey City, NJ saw the biggest drop, as Airbnb listings fell 61%. This week’s chart, which shows Inside Airbnb data analyzed by LendingTree, reveals how drastic the cuts have been in these 20 markets.
Even before the pandemic, pressure had been put on lawmakers to crack down on short-term rentals. Complaints from neighbors about disruptive Airbnb customers had become commonplace, and some unscrupulous owners were turning entire buildings into illegal Airbnb hotels. New legislation has extended the minimum stay requirements in some municipalities, including Jersey City and New York.
Airbnb hosts are also free to set their own minimum stay requirements, and the pandemic has suddenly given them more reasons to do so, including reducing the risk of infection and reducing post-departure cleanings. In Jersey City, the average minimum stay requirement jumped 195% from May 2020 to March 2021, to 20.8 days. But New York City saw the largest percentage increase during that period, up 237%, to 20.6 days.
Today, many Airbnb hosts are eager to get back to business as usual, even though there has been a silver lining for those owners: rising house prices. As hosts have lost rental income amid the pandemic, many have seen their property value rise as there have been price increases in 19 of the 20 markets.
These are the 10 cities where the decrease in Airbnb ads and the increase in length of stay were the most important among the 20 major markets studied.