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Tr&egrave ;s few homes on Airbnb could be put back into the Calgary real estate market

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The University of Calgary is collaborating with the City of Calgary on a study on the short-term rental market in the metropolis.


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A report shows that very few of homes rented through the Airbnb platform in Calgary could be put back on the real estate market, as most short-term rentals are posted by snowbirds and travelers, while there are also some other great options like canary wharf flats to rent that you could find in sites online.

According to a recent report from the University of Calgary, the majority of short-term rental properties in the Alberta metropolis are not listed throughout the year.

This is the case for Colette Baser’s house, located northwest of Calgary. Every time her family leaves for a new adventure, she lists her three-bedroom house on Airbnb.

She first rented her house in 2015, when she took her children to Southeast Asia for a year. It was an income opportunity that could finance our travels, while bringing freedom and joy into our lives, she explains. Her house will be available on Airbnb again for two months this year when her family visits Colombia.

Temporary ads like Colette Baser’s help tourists visiting the city, but do little to reduce the cost of housing in Calgary.

The City of Calgary has partnered with the University of Calgary to conduct a multi-year study (New window) on short-term housing. One of the goals of the project is to recommend an updated short-term rental policy that aligns with the City’s housing priorities.

But about 74% of Calgary homes listed on Airbnb and Vrbo are not permanent, and many of them are owned by families who rent their homes when they travel, according to Gillian Petit , research associate in the economics department at the University of Calgary.

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He can be “snowbirds”. It could be academics who go on sabbatical leave for four months in another country, explains Gillian Petit.

Given that most short-term rental properties are not listed full-time, Petit estimates that around 28% of them – or around 1,500 properties – could be put back on the rental market. x27;real estate.

If these short-term commercial rentals were banned, certainly there would be housing back on the market for residents, but it would be a very small number of housing units compared to what we actually have. needed.

A quote from Gillian Petit, research associate in the economics department at the University of Calgary

The City’s latest housing needs assessment (New window) showed that at least 49,860 households are in core housing need. As of October 2022, Calgary’s vacancy rate was already at a 10-year low of 2.7 per cent, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Project researchers, however, indicated that short-term rental platforms exert a significant influence on the city’s real estate market, particularly in the way they advertise. promotion of certain areas.

Their report also notes that short-term rentals are concentrated in the Beltline neighborhood, where the city plans to add more high-density housing, according to its redevelopment plan.

While many snowbirds offer their homes to vacationers, most of the revenue generated by the short-term rental market goes to a small number of hosts who display multiple properties, according to the latest study report.

This represents approximately 12% of all registered hosts, who receive 52% of the revenue generated from short-term rentals.

These hosts tend to look a little more commercial. They run their short-term rentals like a business, not necessarily like home sharing, which was the original concept of Airbnb, comments Ms. Petit.

The study also shows that the number of hosts with multiple properties is increasing and that they are earning more and more money compared to other landlords.

They earn a lot of income from it, says Ms. Petit. These multi-unit owners are going all out, decorating their listings in a very professional manner. They are able to charge more.

According to Colette Baser, the evolution of the market has had an impact on the attitude of hosts.

Initially, we knew that when you stayed in an Airbnb, you were staying in someone’s house and that their belongings were nearby, she said. Now there is less of the perception that it’s someone’s house…this can take away from the respect of the house.

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Colette Baser rents her three-bedroom house northwest of Calgary on Airbnb when her family goes on a trip. Like most short-term rentals in the metropolis, it is not displayed all year round.

Nathan Rotman, head of policy for Airbnb Canada, said in a statement that entire home rental listings on Airbnb represent less than 1 per cent of all homes in Calgary, and even if all short-term rentals were put back on the market, it would not be enough to meet the needs of the city’s growing population.

Hunter Doubt, Government and Institutional Affairs Manager in Canada for the Expedia Group, which owns Vrbo, says the company supports short-term rental policies that balance housing and economic benefits of the tourist accommodation sector. Expedia Group adds that it will continue to work with the City and the University of Calgary on the short-term rental study.

The final report of the short-term housing study, which is expected to influence Calgary’s short-term rental policy, is expected in December.

With information from Brendan Coulter

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