Massachusetts senior Airbnb hosts grew 40% in 2017

A new report from Airbnb — the world’s leading community driven hospitality company — found across the United States nearly 78,000 seniors (ages 60 and up) share their homes with travelers using Airbnb. Over 3,400 of these senior hosts reside in Massachusetts and their statewide total increased 40 percent during 2017.

This new research comes as more baby boomers are turning to home sharing to help financially support their retirement, age in place, and stay socially engaged.

“Seniors have become an extremely vital and positive group within Airbnb’s community. In addition to being to the most highly rated hosts, seniors in Massachusetts and beyond are reaping huge socioeconomic benefits from Airbnb, and gaining the financial means to age in place and keep their homes.”

Will Burns, Director of Public Policy for Airbnb in Massachusetts

“For me, hosting on Airbnb is about economic survival. Not only do I have extra income to make improvements to my 19th-century home, like a new roof and plumbing,” added Phyllis Sterbakov, a longtime Brighton resident and Airbnb host in her late 60s. “Seniors are a vulnerable population. With constant talk of the demise of social security, seniors tend to be isolated as they age and are economically forced out of their homes. Airbnb has been the vessel to keep us engaged, economically secure, and independent.”

Other findings from this new Airbnb senior host analysis include the following data on the state of Massachusetts:

  • NUMBER OF HOSTS: Massachusetts has 3,410 senior Airbnb hosts — 22% of all hosts.
  • HOST GROWTH: Active senior hosts in Massachusetts grew 40% during 2017.
  • HOST INCOME: The typical Airbnb senior host in Massachusetts earns $8,000.
  • 5-STAR REVIEWS: 86% of Airbnb senior hosts in Massachusetts have five-star reviews.
  • TOP HOST CITIES: New Bedford, Newton and Springfield are among the most heavily populated cities with the highest percentage of senior Airbnb hosts across the state.

And, when seniors host on Airbnb it helps strengthen their communities. For many senior hosts, their Airbnb income allows them to avoid eviction or foreclosure. Forty-one percent of seniors reported that hosting has helped them afford to stay in their homes. The average Airbnb senior host has lived in their home for more than 16 years, and 68% of those hosts plan to stay in their homes for the foreseeable future or through the end of their lives. In fact, 45 percent of senior hosts rely on their Airbnb income to makes ends meet and spend it on important costs of living.

Airbnb senior host representation across the most highly-populated Massachusetts cities

City % of Senior Airbnb Hosts
Boston 7%
Brockton 10%
Cambridge 10%
Lowell 8%
Lynn 17%
New Bedford 38%
Newton 30%
Quincy 7%
Springfield 28%
Worcester 10%