Concerns over ‘out of control’ Airbnb expansion in Edinburgh

Concerns have been raised about the “out of control” expansion of short-term rental properties, as research suggests some areas have an Airbnb listing for four properties.

Edinburgh Old Town has 29 active listings on the website per 100 properties, Skye had 25 per 100 places, and high concentrations were also found in Wollacombe, Georgeham and Croyde in Devon.

The accommodation market questioned the Guardian figures and said the listings did not always affect the availability of local housing stock.

READ MORE: Ministers announce crackdown on Airbnb in Scotland with new tax and licensing plans

The newspaper said it cross-checked 250,000 listings on Airbnb with government housing stock figures, finding there were 0.8 per 100 homes.

Dan Wilson Craw, director of housing lobby group Generation Rent, told the newspaper: “The uncontrolled growth of online vacation rentals is starving communities of much-needed housing.

“In rural areas as in cities, the story is the same: young adults cannot afford to settle in the areas where they grew up.”

Scottish authorities will be able to introduce licensing schemes for short-term rentals from 2021, and local authorities will be able to designate new control areas for short-term rentals, with those wishing to rent properties in this way having to first obtain planning permission.

READ MORE: Checks on student accommodation and Airbnb-style vacation rentals are planned in Edinburgh

Telling the Guardian that Airbnb is part of the problem, Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman said: ‘The growth of short-term rentals is out of control in Edinburgh and a growing concern across Scotland.’

Airbnb told the newspaper that its conclusions were based on “unreliable retrieved data and flawed methodology.”

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