August 30, 2016
What does Airbnb have to lose with Seattle’s new proposed regulations on rentals? By one estimate, a lot. Last Thursday, the data-centric news website FiveThirtyEight (a media outlet spun off from the New York Times) released an analysis of Airbnb’s presence in the company’s top 25 markets. Specifically, they looked at how prevalent commercial rentals were in each city, defined as units rented out on Airbnb’s platform on an almost full-time basis, or on similar platforms like Homeaway or VRBO. They then looked at much of the company’s revenue came from that pool. These rentals are often seen as a drain on local housing supply, taking rentals off the market and putting them on Airbnb instead. Seattle, it turns out, claims the number four spot in the country for the proportion of Airbnb listings considered commercial. A third of the company’s Seattle revenues come from these long-term rentals, according to FiveThirtyEight’s analysis….