Airbnb listings plummet as New York cracks down on short-term rentals

Thousands of New York City Airbnb listings are vanishing from the market as the city introduces some of the strictest regulations in the U.S. for short-term rentals.

Starting on Sept. 5, hosts of short-term rentals will need to register with the city, The Wall Street Journal reported. Airbnb hosts will have to meet several new requirements, including not renting out an entire apartment or home; and being present during guests’ short-term stays. 

Airbnb estimates that 5,300 existing reservations would be affected during the first week of enforcement, according to an August legal filing. There are around 10,800 illegal short-term rentals across the city, per municipal government estimates.

New York City’s Short Term Rental registration Law took effect March 6, 2023. It prohibits rental companies like Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com from processing transactions for unregistered rentals.

Airbnb has called the rules a de facto ban on short-term rentals.

A ripple effect in other cities?

Some industry stakeholders believe other cities might follow suit. City councils in Dallas, Philadelphia and New Orleans have passed their own restrictions on short-term rentals.

There are about 38,500 Airbnb listings in the New York City, not counting hotels that list on the platform, the report said. The annual net revenue for these listings is $85 million. The city estimates there are about 10,800 illegal short-term rentals citywide.

Local politicians and housing advocates argue that the new rules will safeguard the availability of affordable housing, while some property owners say Airbnb rentals offer reliable supplementary income, the Gothamist reported.

“We’re trying to find a path forward with the city but for the moment, it’s going to be complicated,” Nathan Rotman, Senior Public Policy Manager at Airbnb, told the Gothamist. “Parts of the city are going to lose out on the economic opportunity these visitors bring, and a lot of hosts are going to lose what little income they make from the short-term renting that they do on an occasional basis.”

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