Here’s how an Airbnb next door can affect you

Homes in your neighborhood being bought for short-term rentals can be bad news, but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect, according to new research.

Research from the University of Auckland suggests that the presence of Airbnbs rentals in the suburbs lowers rents as they create “urban conflict” and erode the sense of community.

But Airbnbs have been found to increase rents in high apartment density areas like downtown by around 3% to 4% as they increase demand, residents are happier living in an environment where new faces were plentiful and there were amenities to deal with. them.

In the suburbs, rents have fallen by around 2% as Airbnbs’ presence has grown as residents choose to move and newcomers see the area as less attractive.

The study was conducted by Auckland Business School researchers William Cheung and Associate Professor Edward Yiu, and used Melbourne as a case study.

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Researcher William Cheung has spent the past five years studying the effect of touristification and began studying Airbnbs' effect on rent in 2018.

Provided / Stuff

Researcher William Cheung has spent the past five years studying the effect of touristification and began studying Airbnbs’ effect on rent in 2018.

“When visitors begin to overwhelm a community, local residents will be less willing to pay rent for that location and will move elsewhere,” he said.

With tourist numbers currently at a post-pandemic low, Cheung said the time was right for city planners to start regulating where Airbnbs could be run.

He said research indicates Airbnbs should be limited in low-density areas and geared toward apartment-type properties in high-density areas.

Designated zoning could give cities like Auckland more flexibility to provide tourist accommodation while avoiding “urban conflict” between locals and visitors.

There are fears that the reopening of New Zealand’s borders could lead to a flood of landlords pulling their properties off the long-term rental market and offer them to tourists instead, which could create further shortages and drive up rents.

There are already signs of change – a proposed law would require them to collect GST on fares and reservations.

Cheung said Melbourne was chosen because it has more open rental data, which may match Airbnbs’ prevalence. But the findings were applicable to New Zealand cities, he said.

Cheung studies touristification. If gentrification is the effect of the wealthy moving into an area, touristification is the effect of unplanned tourism, how it can transform an area and displace people.

He said the new study was sparked when he was approached by an elderly woman while visiting Melbourne and staying at an Airbnb in the inner-city suburb of Footscray.

Chris McKeen / Stuff

Propertyscouts director Ryan Weir talks to Stuff about the rental market.

“She is very nice and talks to me about her personal affairs, but the lady immediately asked me why I booked an Airbnb,” Cheung said.

“Then her comment was about how she felt – the number of different faces hanging around her neighborhood made her feel uncomfortable.”

AirDNA figures show the supply of short-term rentals has shrunk in popular vacation spots across the country, including Wellington, but Auckland has seen the biggest drop.

In July, there were 4,406 active Airbnb listings in the Auckland area, and 2,880 of them were “entire homes”.

That was a 41% drop in total registrations. In July 2019, there were 7,530 active listings, including 4,563 for “entire homes”.

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