NYC now has more Airbnb listings than rental apartments

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Being in NYC for a good time is much easier than being here for a long time, new data shows. 

The number of available short-term rentals has eclipsed that of long-term rentals in New York, according to a comparison of reports from Douglas Elliman and two third-party Airbnb number-crunching websites. And the news comes at a time when rental housing inventory is at a serious crunch with record-high prices in the wake of COVID-19 and bidding wars for available units driving prices higher, putting a pinch on locals looking to find a new place to live in the city.

According to Douglas Elliman’s April market report, between Manhattan, Brooklyn and northwest Queens, there were roughly 7,500 available rental apartments. Meanwhile, there are more than 10,500 available short-term rentals in the boroughs, according to the site AirDNA. That number is even higher according to Airbnb data-scraping site Inside Airbnb, which counts 20,397, Curbed first reported

Rental housing inventory in Manhattan has fallen over the last year.
Rental housing inventory in Manhattan has fallen over the last year.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

In Manhattan alone, according to Crain’s, there were some 4,700 apartments to rent in April, a fall from the 20,743 recorded in April 2021. Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in Manhattan was just more than 1.5% in April, the second-lowest figure on record, according to appraisers Miller Samuel.

Airbnb does not publicly report its own listing or bookings data — and critics allege that the vacation rental company leads to higher prices in large cities that remain popular for tourists to visit.

Reached for comment on the matter, an Airbnb representative pointed out that the one-to-one comparison of the reports wasn’t totally accurate, as the Douglas Elliman data doesn’t count available units in the Bronx, Staten Island, or all of Queens — while AirDNA and Inside Airbnb claim to count every short-term rental in the boroughs. The representative also added that Airbnb’s supply of NYC listings has decreased over the past two years while rent and rental availability have increased, significant factors to be weighed when considering the raw data. 

“The data is inaccurate. The real problem is, New York City simply has not built enough affordable housing,” the spokesperson told The Post. “That’s why the cost of housing is up everywhere, for everyone. Rather than attack regular people who are using their homes to help pay the bills and cover rising food and other costs, leadership needs to focus on building more housing for people. Airbnb wants to be part of that solution and help.”

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