Airbnb Community Gives a Boost to Seattle Economy

In December, we released a report that examined the impact of home sharing on the Seattle housing market. Today, we are excited to release more information about our host community and the guests who visit the Emerald City.

This new study is based on data from August 2014 to July 2015. In that time period, 151,000 guests stayed in an Airbnb when they visited Seattle and 173,000 Seattleites used Airbnb in their travels.

Home sharing allows people to turn what is generally one of their greatest expenses into a tool to help make ends meet. Many Airbnb hosts are middle class residents who share their homes to pay the bills. Meanwhile, Airbnb guests generate sustainable, local economic activity that supports small businesses.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Responsible home sharing is creating an economic engine for Seattle. Airbnb guests generated $178 million in total economic activity and supported 1,700 jobs. $30M went to local Seattle hosts and Seattle businesses benefitted from $108 million in direct spending.

Making Ends Meet. Many hosts list their home on Airbnb to help pay the bills. The typical Airbnb host in Seattle earns $8,000 renting out all or part of her home for about 79 nights per year. This modest, yet significant amount of income has helped more than half of hosts – 60 percent – stay in their homes.

Guests stay longer and spend more in the neighborhoods in which they stay. With Airbnb listings in over 80 Seattle neighborhoods, Airbnb guests have the ability to explore places they may not have had the opportunity to visit. 92 percent of Airbnb guests say they want to “live like a local,” and 71 per cent are looking to explore a specific neighborhood. On average, an Airbnb guest spends $945 per trip, with $526 spent in the neighborhood in which they are staying.

A responsible and diverse hosting community. Seattle is home to around 2,900 hosts. The average host is 45 years old. One in three hosts earn less than $75,000 dollars per year in household income. In addition, a large percentage of these people work in design, art, creative services, education and health services.

We hope this report is the first of many steps in working with the City of Seattle and members of the larger community to create common sense regulation.

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