October 21, 2014 by westsideneighborhoodalliance
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released an extensive new report last week showing that nearly three-quarters of Airbnb’s rentals in New York City are illegal, violating zoning or other state laws.
The report analyzes Airbnb bookings from January 1, 2010 through June 2, 2014, and exposes alarming data about the extent of Airbnb’s business practices and revenue generated from the mostly illegal use of long-term residential housing units as short-term rentals.
Key findings highlighted in the report include:
- 72 percent of Airbnb units in NYC are illegal and in violation of state law.
- Revenue to Airbnb and its hosts from short-term rentals in NYC is expected to exceed $282 million this year. Airbnb rentals grew ten-fold during the review period and associated revenue nearly doubled each year.
- Commercial operators (not everyday NYC residents) make up 6 percent of all hosts but supply more than a third of the units (36 percent) and generate more than a third (37 percent) or $168 million of all host revenue.
- More than 100 commercial users each controlled 10 or more unique Airbnb units, accounting for over 47,000 reservations and earning nearly $60 million.
- The highest earning Airbnb host controlled 272 units, booked over 3,000 reservations, charged an average of $358.19 a night, and received $6.8 million in revenue.
- The top 12 NYC commercial hosts earned more than $1 million each.
- In 2013, more than 4,600 units were booked as short-term rentals through Airbnb for three months or more of the year. Of these, nearly 2,000 units were booked for 6 months or more of the year, rendering them largely unavailable for use by long-term residents.
- A dozen buildings had 60 percent or more of their units used as rentals for at least half the year, suggesting the buildings were operating as de facto hotels.
- Just three Manhattan neighborhoods – the Lower East Side/Chinatown, Greenwich Village/SoHo, and Chelsea/Hell’s Kitchen – account for 40 percent of host revenue or $187 million, while ALL reservations in Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx account for just 3 percent or $12 million of total host revenue in NYC.
The full report can be viewed at: http://www.ag.ny.gov/pdfs/Airbnb%20report.pdf