Clark County examines impact of short-term rentals amid Las Vegas housing shortage and crisis

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -Clark County officials are weighing in on concerns that a flood of short-term rentals could potentially impact the housing shortage in the Las Vegas Valley.

FOX5 reported on the ongoing challenges for many home buyers and renters. Those ready to buy or rent are struggling with limited inventory amid skyrocketing prices.

“I put a [rental] property on the market, we will immediately have three inquiries and hundreds of phone calls. There just aren’t enough properties for every person,” said Cynthia Woodward of Key property management. “There won’t be enough rentals,” Woodward said.

In 2021, the Nevada State Legislature passed legislation requiring counties to license and develop policy regulating short-term rentals, while enforcing penalties for unauthorized short-term rentals.

From San Diego to Scottsdale and Sedona to Park City, various cities that are tourist destinations are facing growing housing shortages amid a boom in short-term rentals.

San Diego recently regulated its short-term rentals with a cap, and residents are hoping to see more rentals popping up to boost inventory.

“One of the biggest issues Clark County will face over the next few years is the real housing crisis. Thankfully, with short-term rentals, we don’t have to go ahead and guess the ultimate impact of some of these policies. There are other jurisdictions, including some tourist destinations, that we can look to,” said Commissioner Ross Miller, who oversees City Hall on Tuesday for public comment.

An analysis of 2019 and The 2021 follow-up by Harvard Business Review analyzed the costs and benefits: “Home sharing through Airbnb alone is responsible for approximately 20% of the average annual increase in rents in the United States…In the next part of our study, we took a more granular approach to try to measure the direct impact of various STR regulations and identify strategies that can help communities reap long-term benefits from the economic activity generated by these rentals while minimizing short-term harm to residents.

Airbnb released this statement:

“Airbnb is an economic empowerment tool that helps Nevada families participate in the city’s tourism economy and earn meaningful income to pay their bills. In fact, according to a survey of our host community in the United States, 42% said the money they make on Airbnb helps them stay at home. As our data confirms and a number of experts have concluded, home sharing is not a significant driver of the housing affordability crisis, including in Nevada – and at the same time, Airbnb is focused on supporting the return of the local tourism economy by allowing residents to supplement their incomes by sharing their homes and working with elected officials on sensible policies.

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