VENICE (CBSLA.com) — The rise of the long-term rental market in Southern California is making the region’s housing shortage even worse, according to a report released Wednesday.
The study conducted by Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) found nearly 7,800 rental units have been taken off the local market since the rise of Airbnb, a private service that allows residents to rent out their apartments or homes for short-term stays.
Those units were largely located in some of the region’s most desirable neighborhoods, including Venice, Santa Monica, Hollywood and Silver Lake, according to the report.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the study found as much as 89 percent of Airbnb’s revenue in Los Angeles is generated from whole units and professional management companies renting out two or more units.
“Renters are already being squeezed by rising rent and low vacancy,” said LAANE research and policy analyst Roy Samaan. “Airbnb is exacerbating that problem by facilitating the removal of hundreds of units from the tightest rental markets in the city.”
The crunch in housing inventory comes as the city of L.A. tops all U.S. cities with the highest percentage of renters of any city in the country.
Rental prices continue to skyrocket as places to live in remain in short supply, which in turn has increased the burden of maintaining a single apartment for those spending at least 30 percent or more of their household income on housing – more than three in four renters – according to the report.
While Airbnb has marketed itself as a platform that connects travelers with spare rooms for rent, LAANE researchers say the service’s 11,410 L.A. listings consist predominantly of professional management companies and other investors renting out whole apartments or houses.
According to the study, Airbnb ’s exchange system essentially “means that hosts are far removed from the property, do not reside in the unit(s), and are not present during the guest’s stay.”
And among the service’s some 8,400 hosts, many have multiple listings – and sometimes even entire buildings – and have made units across the Southland “subject to the competition between resident and tourist dollars,” the study found.
Airbnb was named by Inc. Magazine as its 2014 “Company of the Year” after its website surpassed 800,000 listings worldwide, which reportedly gave AirBnB more lodging listings than Hilton Worldwide or any other hotel chain on the planet.
Click here (PDF) to read the full LAANE report.