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Airbnb rentals cut deep into SF housing stock, report says

May 14, 2015

sfexaminer – excerpt – (includes report)

San Francisco is once again debating how best to regulate short-term rental websites like Airbnb, after a law legalizing the practice went into effect less than four months ago.

City planners have since said the law is unenforceable and needs to change, a position supported by Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors.

But just how to strengthen the law remains a point of contention, as does the question of what impact short-term rentals are having on San Francisco’s housing stock.

Today, a report will be released by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose that provides new analysis of the impact of short-term rentals on The City, drawing comparisons between longer-term hosts and evictions and estimating that in some neighborhoods Airbnb units could comprise as much as 40 percent of potential rentals.

Requested by Supervisor David Campos, the report comes just four days before the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee is expected vote on how to amend the short-term rental regulations that took effect Feb. 1…

The impact in San Francisco varies by neighborhood, with the greatest impacts in the Mission, Haight-Ashbury/Western Addition, Castro-Eureka Valley and Potrero Hill-South Beach.

In the Haight, for example, nearly 32 percent of the vacant rental housing units were listed on Airbnb, some 122 total. In the Mission, 29 percent of potential rentals, or 199, were listed on the website. Another estimate says the Mission percentage could be as high as 40 percent and as high as 43 percent in the Haight.

“Airbnb has made a lot of claims that they are not impacting our housing stock. This demonstrates that they clearly are,” Campos said during an interview with The San Francisco Examiner. “And that in some neighborhoods like the Mission the impact is so significant that it’s definitely pushing people out.”…

The report draws a comparison between the number of evictions in neighborhoods with the most hosts, though notes there is no way to draw a direct connection. In the Mission, for example, there were 315 hosts last year and 323 evictions…

The report draws a distinction between commercial hosts, those booked in excess of 58 days, and casual hosts, and bases its analysis on 6,113 Airbnb listings identified in December, of which nearly 4,200 were casual hosts. The impact on the housing stock is based on commercial hosts, which the report defines as those not supplementing living expenses but treating short-term rentals as a steady source of income…

The report said that if the existing regulations were enforced, the current listings of 6,113 would decrease to 5,557. With the 120-day cap, they would decline to 5,706. A 60-day cap would lower them to 4,471… (more)

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