Large commercial players are dominating the short-term rental market in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and raking in most of the revenue, according to research analyzing Airbnb activity.
And contrary to the Airbnb narrative that the online booking service is about regular people sharing their homes to help pay the mortgage, there has been disproportionately large growth of full-time, entire-home listings that belong to hosts with multiple Airbnb properties, according to a copy of a draft report prepared by the McGill University School of Urban Planning.
The report said the full-time, entire-home listings represent 6,500 properties across the three cities and account for more than a third of all revenue earned. In Toronto, growth in that category has increased more than 100 per cent from May 2016 to June 2017.
“More and more of the money is being earned by a smaller and (a) more kind of commercialized and sophisticated, large-scale set of hosts,” said professor David Wachsmuth, lead author of the report called “Short-term Cities: Airbnb’s Impact on Canadian Housing Markets.
The report bills itself as the first comparative analysis of short-term rentals in three major cities and is based on a data set obtained from Airdna, a data company that tracks the performance of Airbnb listings. The report also used data taken from the 2011 and 2016 censuses and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s rental market survey.
In some cases, some hosts have hundreds of separate properties listed on the Airbnb platform and are earning millions annually, Wachsmuth said Thursday.
“These aren’t . . . people who own their house and they’re renting it out on the weekend when they’re gone.”
Airbnb spokesperson Lindsey Scully rejected the report’s conclusions.