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3 in 4 Vancouver Airbnb units run by commercial hosts

Three in four Airbnb units available in Vancouver are operated by commercial hosts, an analysis of the platform’s listings show.

An analysis of 416 randomly extracted listings showed that 317 of them belonged to hosts who were offering multiple Airbnb units.

This finding flies in the face of statements Airbnb made at the City of Vancouver public hearing on short term rentals yesterday.

“The vast majority of our hosts are everyday people and families sharing the extra space at their homes a few nights each month to earn modest supplemental income and for them home sharing is a housing affordability solution,” Alex Dagg, the corporation’s Canadian Policy Lead told the City Council.

Dagg’s statements are inconsistent with both ThinkPol’s findings and those of the Airbnb data scraping web site Inside Airbnb[1], which found that 68% all listings are entire homes or apartments.

58% of the listings are available for more than 60 days a year, while 36% are commercial operators.

Even after being presented with a list of commercial operators, Airbnb disputed our findings.

“The majority of Vancouver hosts, more than 80 per cent, only share their primary residences and do so a few nights each month to earn modest, supplemental income,” Airbnb spokesperson Lindsey Scully said. “Airbnb proactively removed more than 130 listings in Vancouver that we believed to be commercial operators and did not meet the standards and priorities of our community, nor the guest experience we seek to provide.”

Airbnb user Vanessa is currently listing 13 entire homes/apartments[2], while Ash is listing six [3].

Mj is offering five such units[4], while Alicia[5] and Liliana [6] are both offering four.

Airbnb indicated that they were willing to work with the City of Vancouver to eradicate commercial operators.

“We look forward to continuing to share data and information about our community and to working collaboratively with Mayor Gregor Robertson, Vancouver city staff and all of Vancouver City Council,” Scully added. “We believe we can partner with the city to develop fair, easy-to-follow home-sharing regulations that address key priorities for the city, including any unwelcome commercial operators.”

The second day of public hearing will start today at 6:00PM. Those who wish to speak have until 5PM to register online, or until 5:30PM to register in person[7].

By Amy Chen Courtesy ThinkPol

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