Airbnb Listings a Large Percentage of Rental Units in Popular NYC Zip Codes

A recent study looked at Airbnb home/apartment listings in 20 different Zip codes located throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. It found that those listings which offered to rent entire homes or apartments on Airbnb’s website comprise at least 10 percent of the total rental units in those Zip codes, according to the report by New York Communities for Change. The most popular neighborhood for Airbnb rentals, the East Village, saw 28 percent of rental units converted into illegal hotel rooms.

The study’s authors relied on U.S. Census data as well as data gathered from the company’s website. Data from the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey was also referenced but was not used in calculations. Here are some of the topline findings from the report:

  • Airbnb has nearly 16,000 entire home/apartment listings in NYC (approximately 60 percent of their total), which appear to be a clear violation of the 2010 Multiple Dwelling Law and/or the NYC Zoning Code.
  • In four different Zip codes, covering the neighborhoods of the East Village, Williamsburg, the West Village, and the Lower East Side, entire home/apartment Airbnb listings comprise over 20 percent of total rentals.
  • The yearly cumulative monetary value of all Airbnb illegal listings (entire house/apartment rentals) was found to be $393.3 million, or 77 percent of Airbnb’s overall listings, compared to $117.9 million for shared or private rooms.
  • The average entire home/apartment listing was available for 247 days per year, and was actually rented out 109 nights per year, largely removing these units from the NYC housing supply.
  • From 2007-2009 to 2011-2013, the average rents for housing units in the top 20 Zip codes for Airbnb listings increased more than the citywide average.
  • In the top 20 Zip codes for Airbnb usage, housing units are rented on Airbnb for rates equivalent to more than 300 percent of the neighborhood’s average rent.
  • 100 percent of the top 20 Zip codes for Airbnb usage in Brooklyn are in Zip codes where the average rent increased by at least 32 percent from 2002-2014.