NEWS

Bayview Post - - News -

Toronto, Mon­treal and Van­cou­ver ac­quir­ing $430 mil­lion in col­lec­tive rev­enue in 2016 — a 55 per cent in­crease over 2015.

The prospect of a small num­ber of hosts own­ing mul­ti­ple prop­er­ties and mo­ti­vated by large prof­its can be prob­lem­atic, Wieditz ex­plained.

“This con­cen­tra­tion of Airbnb in­ven­tory in fewer and fewer hands, so to speak, is what causes a lot of the dis­rup­tions in the city,” Wieditz said.

“It is what causes the prob­lems in the rental mar­ket, in terms of the avail­abil­ity of units, but also that’s what causes a lot of the dis­rup­tions in neigh­bour­hoods where you end up with party houses.”

Post City pre­vi­ously re­ported in Au­gust on a multi-list­ing Airbnb host in mid­town Toronto who has gar­nered com­plaints from lo­cal res­i­dent Lisa Sa­bato about a num­ber of is­sues from neigh­bour­hood sta­bil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity to loud late-night par­ties.

In ad­di­tion to creat­ing prob­lem­atic “party houses,” Airbnbs are con­sum­ing much­needed prop­erty down­town.

Ac­cord­ing to a 2017 re­port by Ry­er­son City Build­ing In­sti­tute and Ever­green, the va­cancy rate in down­town Toronto is around 1.4 per cent, far be­low the healthy rate of three per cent. Seventy per cent of com­mer­cial Airbnb list­ings are lo­cated in 10 down­town neigh­bour­hoods — ac­cord­ing to AirDNA, a web­site that com­piles data on Airbnb — com­pound­ing the va­cancy is­sue.

How­ever, there ap­pears to be lit­tle in­cen­tive for land­lords to place their prop­erty on the longterm mar­ket. A full-time host only needs to rent a unit for half a year to make what a tra­di­tional land­lord would make in a year on the long-term mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to AirDNA.

As well, Airbnb land­lords are able to skirt reg­u­la­tions such as the Res­i­den­tial Ten­an­cies Act and ho­tel in­dus­try reg­u­la­tions.

“Peo­ple can make a lot more money in an un­reg­u­lated shadow econ­omy where their money is not be­ing tracked,” said Wieditz.

The Ry­er­son re­port states that Toronto needs at least 8,000 new rental units per year to get to a healthy va­cancy rate.

If city reg­u­la­tions are en­forced, the re­port es­ti­mates that 3,200 short-term rental prop­er­ties would not meet the reg­u­la­tions and thus be put back on the mar­ket, pro­vid­ing “im­me­di­ate re­lief to the Toronto Area’s low va­cancy rate.”

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