New data emerges on how many homes in San Diego are vacation rentals

Signs in Crown Point protest against the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals. /Photo by Dustin Michelson

This post has been updated.

Owners of nearly 9,000 homes in the city of San Diego are renting them out to visitors, according to new data.

But new analysis from Host Compliance, a San Francisco-based company that has provided rental data to dozens of other cities, also shows that only 22% of homes rented to visitors are rented more than 90 days a year. The figures are for whole-home rentals, where the landlord is not on site and tenants manage the property, as opposed to shared housing, where a landlord stays on site and provides a bedroom or other space in the House. .

Host Compliance pulled data from two dozen rental sites after a request from Voice of San Diego.

City Council is due to vote on Tuesday on how to regulate the short-term vacation rental industry.

But the most important fact of the hotly debated debate has remained elusive: how many houses do people rent to visitors, and how much has that increased in recent years? Airbnb policy chief Chris Lehane said there hasn’t been a major increase in short-term rentals in San Diego. Jonah Mechanic, whose company manages vacation rentals and advocates for regulations allowing responsible rental, says that’s not accurate, but many rented homes would not return to the housing market if vacation rentals were closed. – they would simply remain vacant except for the rare times a year when their owners use them.

Proponents of outright bans or very strict rental restrictions have thrown around many different numbers.

We can now have some clarity.

Host compliance researchers filtered multiple listings to find only unique rented properties.

They estimated that there were 11,347 short-term vacation rental units in the city. Of those, 8,855 are whole-home rentals that have caused the most frustration in neighborhoods.

The nearly 9,000 whole-home rentals are the equivalent of less than 2% of the city’s housing inventory, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest five-year estimate.

Host Compliance found that 10 San Diego neighborhoods account for three-quarters of San Diego’s vacation rental market. Here’s a breakdown of the city’s vacation rental hotspots and how many units each has. This data includes partial and full rentals.

The data also shows that 22% of full vacation rentals in the city host various short-term visitors more than 90 days per year in total, and 57% of full properties are rented less than 31 days per year. year.

The 90-day deadline is particularly important in the regulatory debate that will play out next week.

Councilwoman Barbara Bry has pushed a plan that would allow landlords to rent their accommodations to visitors for up to 90 days a year. A group of four city council members are advocating an alternative plan that would allow year-round rentals with a three-night minimum stay in coastal areas.

Now, how much has it increased?

It’s not clear.

The data we have shows Airbnb, which has been in the San Diego market since around 2011has seen a massive increase in signups on its platform over the past few years.

What’s missing are numbers that shed light on the number of vacation rentals in San Diego before Airbnb and other rental sites came into the picture.

Airbnb provided me with annual census survey estimates of vacant seasonal and leisure accommodations, which can be used to track vacation rentals. But the margin of error associated with them made them useless to follow these trends.

The data actually seemed to show that the number of rentals had actually fallen from almost 13,000 in 2014 to around 10,280 – although that discrepancy is completely eliminated when you take into account the margin of error.

The Mechanic helps run Share San Diego and most explicitly opposes Bry’s order. He said it was not a good idea to try to argue that vacation rentals had not increased.

“I think it’s very clear to everyone that more and more people in San Diego are participating in the sharing economy, which is available to them now, which is more common today than it never was,” Mechanic said.

AirDNA, a company that closely tracks Airbnb listings, provided data showing that the number of properties listed on Airbnb more than tripled between October 2014 and October 2017.

Despite ongoing disagreements over vacation rentals, two groups opposed to the debate — Save San Diego Neighborhoods and Share San Diego — have relied heavily on AirDNA data in their most recent studies.

Airbnb is one of many rental sites, but it’s the most popular. Host Compliance estimates that about two-thirds of rental listings in San Diego are posted on Airbnb.

AirDNA documented just 2,257 Airbnb rental properties in the city in October 2014. By October, it had 8,446. And the number of whole-home rentals alone more than quadrupled.

Here’s how that growth unfolded.

But data from Host Compliance, which has led the broader review of the rental market over the past year, points to ongoing changes in the market not captured by the previous dataset.

Over the past year, 7,462 listings were removed from vacation rental sites, including Airbnb, while more than 9,400 were added or reactivated, according to Host Compliance Analytics.

This means that 60% of listings that were active on vacation rental sites just a year ago are no longer online, and 65% of listings in the city were posted last year.

Correction: After the data was initially released, the CEO of Host Compliance informed us that the company had made an error in its calculation of the number of whole-home rental units rented more than 90 days per year to different visitors. His market analysis had a flaw in the way he analyzed a company’s rental listings. He redid the analysis. Homes rented short-term more than 90 days per year represent 22% of all short-term vacation rentals, not 19% as stated at the start.

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