Airbnb is predicted to increase its inventory by 25% in 2022, giving it huge leverage to impact the residential real estate market next year, according to analyst Chris Linsell.
During a presentation at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Linsell, senior real estate writer for TheClose.com, said Airbnb’s expansion will likely negatively impact housing affordability and inventory.
“Airbnb (is) not just selling their product to consumers, they are selling to the providers of the product. They are selling twice without holding their own inventory. This unique model opens up an incredible level of scalability,” he said.
“Many of those housing units are going to come from the residential real estate market.”
He noted that the impact on residential housing could be lessened by developers building homes specifically for the short-term rental market, and suggested realtors advocate for zoning law changes at a local level and explore investor relationships with buyers interested in property management.
Rental property trends have been under the microscope as the housing affordability crisis continues to evolve. Zillow has come under fire for selling 2,000 homes to an investment company after closing its iBuying arm rather than putting them on the market.
Build-to-rent properties funded by investors and properties bought to be managed as short-term rentals through Airbnb have been blamed for contributing to the shortage of homes and inflating prices.
Proposals to restrict Airbnb rentals have appeared on ballots in communities attempting to control home pricing. Airbnb has disputed claims that short-term rentals significantly impact home prices.
“As a number of experts have concluded, home-sharing has little impact on housing affordability and is not a factor in housing supply,” Sam Randall, a spokesman for Airbnb, said.
However, a 2019 analysis from the Economic Policy Institute showed Airbnb properties correlated with lower housing supply and rising rents even before the effects of the pandemic-inspired housing boom set in.
Airbnb recently announced Q3 2021 was its best quarter on record. Its net income increase 280% year-over-year, with revenue of $2.2 billion. In non-urban areas of Europe and North America, its listings have grown nearly 15%.
The company said that long-term rentals of 28 days or more made up 20% of its bookings between July and September, and it expects them to continue growing due to increased remote work.