The Airbnb Community in Hawaii

Home sharing allows ordinary people to  take what is typically one of their greatest expenses – the cost of their housing – and turn it into a way to make ends meet. Airbnb and our hosts want to work with communities like Hawaii to create fair and progressive rules for short term rentals. Last year we released the Airbnb Community Compact in which we pledge to treat every city personally, build an open and transparent community, and promote responsible short term rentals to make cities stronger. We are fully committed to being constructive partners with regulatory agencies and policymakers.

Today, we are excited to release a report that examines the  Airbnb community in Hawaii. Our team of data scientists analyzed Airbnb data, publicly available census and community survey data, and third-party data to comprehensively understand the positive impacts of the Airbnb Community in Hawaii.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Most Airbnb hosts are long-time residents of Hawaii, who share their permanent home occasionally throughout the year to earn modest amounts of supplemental income.  Local Airbnb hosts have lived in their hometowns in Hawaii for an average of about 20 years, and over 60% of hosts share space in their permanent home. About 10% to 14% share their second homes, where they live for part of the year.
  • Airbnb helps make housing more affordable for many local hosts.  Many hosts say income earned from Airbnb helps them make ends meet.  In fact, 19% of hosts say that the income they have earned on Airbnb helped them avoid foreclosure. 60-65% of hosts say that hosting has helped them afford to stay in their home.
  • Most entire home listings are rented only occasionally. 84% percent of Airbnb entire home listings are rented on a short-term basis for less than half of  the year.
  • Short-term Airbnb rentals are generally not more profitable than long-term rentals. The median income generated in 2015 by an entire home listing in Hawaii is $5,900. This modest median income suggests that listings are generally not being rented at a rate that makes short-term renting financially preferable to long-term renting
  • Airbnb has not caused a material increase in the number of dedicated vacation rentals in Hawaii. In the six years between 2009 and 2014, although the number of entire home listings in Airbnb hosting guests increased by an average of over 100%, the number of vacation rentals in Hawaii only grew by a maximum of 4% each year.

Read the full report here.

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