Airbnb and Housing in Toronto

We’ve heard a lot of talk lately about Airbnb’s impact on the local housing supply. At Airbnb, we believe our platform makes expensive communities, like Toronto, more affordable and helps everyday people stay in the home and community they know and love.

Airbnb takes the issue of affordable housing in Toronto very seriously. We made a commitment to strengthen communities like Toronto as part of our Community Compact through information sharing, promoting responsible home sharing, and working collaboratively with the City of Toronto to find the right policy solutions.

Taking a look at our Toronto data in comparison to the most recent census from 2011 , we determined that most Toronto residents use Airbnb occasionally, earn modest amounts of money and are not full-time vacation rental operators out-competing the long-term rental market.

In our study of Airbnb and Toronto housing, we analyzed “entire home” listings, but it’s important to note the vast majority of these units would not be available to the long-term housing market. Most of these listings are hosts sharing their primary residences that are listed while the host is away; some are accessory units, such as a separate bedroom over a garage, often lacking facilities such as a kitchen, that could not legally be rented to a long-term tenant.

Here are the key highlights from our study of Airbnb and housing in Toronto:

  • Airbnb entire home listings represent a tiny fraction of Toronto housing units. There were 8,200 active entire home listings on the Airbnb platform as of October 1, 2016, or 0.7 per cent of Toronto housing units. Entire home bookings in the last year (9,500 listings) comprised about 0.85 per cent of entire housing in the city.
  • Most entire home listings in Toronto earn modest annual income from sharing their homes, typically about $6,560 CAD. Only 760 entire home listings home share frequently enough to financially outcompete a long-term tenant. That’s 0.07 per cent of Toronto’s 1,107,851 housing units.
  • The vast majority of entire home listings are shared only occasionally. In the past year, 46 per cent of entire home listings in Toronto were shared fewer than 30 days, and nearly 90 per cent were shared fewer than 180 days.

The hosting pattern summarized in this study suggests that the vast majority of hosts share their homes and extra space occasionally, and without Airbnb, these homes would likely not be available on the long-term rental market. The few hundred high-frequency, high-income listings identified in this study are too small a group to have any material effect on housing prices or vacancy rates in Toronto.

Airbnb has been working with the City of Toronto to develop fair, easy-to-follow rules that support home sharing. We believe that by working with local leaders we can find the right policy solutions, including addressing any unwelcome commercial operators.

We look forward to continuing to work with city staff, Mayor John Tory and all of Toronto City Council to ensure a healthy home sharing community for Toronto.

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