Airbnb Usage Across New York City Neighborhoods: Geographic Patterns and Regulatory Implications

Forthcoming, Cambridge Handbook on the Law of the Sharing Economy

26 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017

See all articles by Peter A. Coles

Peter A. Coles

Airbnb

Michael Egesdal

Airbnb

Ingrid Gould Ellen

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Xiaodi Li

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Arun Sundararajan

New York University (NYU): Stern School of Business and Center for Urban Science+Progress

Date Written: October 12, 2017

Abstract

This paper offers new empirical evidence about actual Airbnb usage patterns and how they vary across neighborhoods in New York City. We combine unique, census-tract level data from Airbnb with neighborhood asking rent data from Zillow and administrative, census, and social media data on neighborhoods. We find that as usage has grown over time, Airbnb listings have become more geographically dispersed, although centrality remains an important predictor of listing location. Neighborhoods with more modest median household incomes have also grown in popularity, and disproportionately feature “private room” listings (compared to “entire home” listings). We find that compared to long-term rentals, short-term rentals do not appear to be as profitable as many assume, and they have become relatively less profitable over our time period. Additionally, short-term rentals appear most profitable relative to long-term rentals in outlying, middle-income neighborhoods. Our findings contribute to an ongoing regulatory conversation catalyzed by the rapid growth in the short-term rental market, and we conclude by bringing an economic lens to varying approaches proposed to target and address externalities that may arise in this market.

Suggested Citation

Coles, Peter A. and Egesdal, Michael and Ellen, Ingrid Gould and Li, Xiaodi and Sundararajan, Arun, Airbnb Usage Across New York City Neighborhoods: Geographic Patterns and Regulatory Implications (October 12, 2017). Forthcoming, Cambridge Handbook on the Law of the Sharing Economy. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048397 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3048397

Peter A. Coles

Airbnb ( email )

888 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States

Michael Egesdal

Airbnb ( email )

888 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States

Ingrid Gould Ellen

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Xiaodi Li

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Arun Sundararajan (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU): Stern School of Business and Center for Urban Science+Progress ( email )

44 West 4th Street, KMC 8-90
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://oz.stern.nyu.edu/

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