Airbnb’s growing economic opportunities for Boston seniors

In late 2016, Airbnb released its first-ever report on senior hosts in Boston. These residents – ages 60 and up – were found to be among the most popular hosts and the fastest growing demographic within Airbnb’s community of home sharers in the state capital and its surrounding cities.

And today, this group of Boston hosts are still using their homes to earn supplemental income — money to help them age in place, support them in retirement, make improvements to their home, and cover their medical bills. Between 2015 and the end of 2017, the total number of Boston seniors who host via Airbnb increased by 75 percent — with a nearly 94 percent growth in their Airbnb income during that same time.

Other recent research also shows that “home sharing provides an alternative to senior living, whose costs can range from $2,500 a month in an independent community to over $100,000 a year in a skilled nursing facility.”

The following report highlights how senior residents in every corner of Boston are receiving an economic boost thanks to home sharing; providing travelers with additional and more reasonably-priced accommodations, and creating more foot traffic for small businesses in their neighborhood.

Key findings from this report include:

  • During 2017, Boston residents ages 60 and up earned $5.3 million sharing their home via Airbnb — an increase of nearly 94 percent from 2015.
  • The typical senior Airbnb host made $13,400 renting their home to Boston travelers.
  • The total number of Airbnb hosts in Boston who are seniors jumped 75 percent from 2015.
  • 80 percent of senior hosts in Roxbury are women and 67 percent of senior hosts in Bay Village are women.
  • Senior hosts in South End and Jamaica Plain earned the highest income, with respective totals of $850,000 and $680,000.