New York City reportedly has more Airbnb listings than apartments for rent

New York City may have more Airbnb listings than apartments for rent despite a law of 2016 prohibit short-term rentals, Braked reported. April’s rental apartment inventory in Manhattan, Brooklyn and northwest Queens totaled 7,699 units, according to the Douglas Elliman Report. That compares to somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 listings for rentals of entire apartments or entire homes on Airbnb across New York City, according to calculations by AirDNA and Inside Airbnb.

New York City has effectively banned short-term rentals (less than 30 days) in multi-unit buildings without the presence of the landlord since 2011and even made it illegal to advertise such listings in 2016. If Airbnb tenants obey the law, that means listings are only active for short periods of time during the year.

Many could also be brownstone “garden apartments” separate but still part of the main dwelling, which can be rented year round by apartment owners. “A decade ago [those] may have gone to long-term tenants,” Braked Noted. The lack of this inventory in the long-term rental market is especially noticeable now with rentals so tight and prices averaging $3,925 per month in Manhattan.

However, other factors may have contributed to New York’s housing shortage, Airbnb said. “Over the past two years, our entire supply of space across the city has shrunk and now represents a fraction of a percent of the city’s rental housing – and all this while rental prices have risen and that permits issued by the city for new housing development remain down by a double-digit percentage,” a spokesperson told Curbed in an email. Additionally, some Airbnb listings may only be available for several weeks per year.

Airbnb is widely used by tourists and travelers, but hotels view them as unauthorized competition and city councils and housing advocates say they are pulling thousands of rentals from the market and distorting market prices. The problem is particularly acute in cities with tight housing markets like New York and San Francisco, the latter also being laws issued limit rentals.

The extent to which Airbnb has contributed to a housing shortage in New York is debatable. However, the prospect of having more Airbnb listings than apartments for rent isn’t great in a brutal rental market. “The bidding wars accounted for one in five new lease signings,” Elliman wrote. “Greater accessibility is not within reach. More and more people are squatting.”

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