Airbnb and Housing in Vancouver

Airbnb takes the issue of affordable housing in Vancouver very seriously, especially given the city is facing a variety of unique challenges with respect to the housing market. Airbnb made a commitment to strengthen communities like Vancouver as outlined in our Community Compact through information sharing and promoting responsible home sharing.

Airbnb is dedicated to working with Vancouver, where local leaders have identified a critical shortage of long-term rental housing. We have been collaborating with the city to develop clear, fair home sharing rules – and believe we can partner with the city to tackle unwelcome commercial operators to prevent impacts to long-term housing supply.

We took a look at the data and are sharing the following facts about our Airbnb community in Vancouver:

  • Airbnb’s entire home listings are a tiny fraction of the Vancouver housing market. There were 4,610 active listings on the Airbnb platform as of August 1, 2016, or 1.6% of Vancouver’s total housing units. Entire home bookings in the last year (8,550 listings) comprised about 3% of total housing in the city.
  • Entire home listings on Airbnb rented for 270 days or more annually make up less than one per cent of Vancouver’s housing stock. Only 320 listings home share frequently enough to financially outcompete long-term housing rentals. That’s 0.11% of Vancouver’s 286,742 housing units.
  • The vast majority of entire home listings are shared occasionally. In the past year, 47% of entire home listings in Vancouver were shared between 1 and 30 days, three-quarters were shared for fewer than 90 days, and nearly 90% were shared less than 180 days.
  • Most Vancouver hosts earn modest, supplemental income from home sharing. The typical host earns $6,630 annually.

The study also notes that many accessory units, such as a small bedroom over a garage, or a portion of a dwelling with a separate entrance, are listed on Airbnb as an “entire home.” This type of space often lacks a kitchen or other facilities, and in turn would not be made available on the long-term rental market, even without Airbnb.

Simply put, entire home listings on Airbnb are not a driver of housing prices in Vancouver. Home sharing in Vancouver appears to be a relatively small phenomenon, of a few thousand housing units, half of which hosted fewer than 30 nights. Vancouver hosts tend to rent only occasionally, earning modest but meaningful supplemental income. The scale, frequency, and earning volumes are too small to be meaningfully driving up home prices.

Airbnb wants to work with the city to develop smart, sensible regulations that balance affordability concerns with the right of everyday people to share their homes. We look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Gregor Robertson, Councillor Meggs, and all of city council to develop comprehensive, sensible regulations for home sharing.

Read the Report