Airbnb: Holiday Homes Have No Impact On Housing Stock In Palma

4 April 2017 – El Mundo

Yesterday, Airbnb expressed its disagreement with the decision taken by the Town Hall of Palma to prohibit the rental to tourists of homes in multi-family buildings and stated that the occasional rental of a regular home “did not have any impact on the stock of available homes”.

The vacation rental company said in a statement that it wants to work with the Town Hall on the solution and advised that the occasional rental of primary residences helps many middle-class families “supplement their income”.

Airbnb states that the Town Hall has taken “figures that do not correspond to the reality” as a reference and that entire homes in Palma that are rented out for more than 120 nights per year account for just 0.8% of all the homes in the city.

According to data from Airbnb, Palma currently has 171,000 homes, down by 10% from 182,000 in 2011. In addition, it has more than 16,000 empty homes and apartments, a figure that represents more than 9% of the available housing stock in the city. In Mallorca as a whole, the percentage of empty homes is 16% (71,255 units).

The multinational company defends itself, by saying that those who practice “home sharing” are opening up the home they live in and are therefore not reducing the available housing supply.

Airbnb has 5,000 adverts in the city, according to data as a January. However, not every advert corresponds to a single housing unit, given that a host may have two adverts for the same house, for example, if he shares two rooms.

22% of all of the adverts relate to rooms only, which represents 1,100 adverts, which “are not removing homes from the long-term rental market”, given that the people who are renting these rooms also live in the property.

78% of adverts correspond to entire homes, which represent 3,900 adverts. Of those, 36% are let out for more than 120 days per year, a percentage that is equivalent to 1,400 homes. Airbnb says that that is the figure that represents the number of homes that are being deducted from the rental market, which account for 0.8% of the available homes Palma, a percentage that it says is “too low to have any impact on the market as a whole”.

75% of the hosts in Palma that advertise on Airbnb have just one advert and the typical host in Palma rents his property out for less than 60 days per year.

The rental company says that Palma has been suffering from “tensions in terms of house prices” for years and points out that the Association of Residential Property Developers in the Balearic Islands warned back in 2012 that the islands were going to be hit by a shortage of available housing and that the few developments that were being built were going to generate serious difficulties in terms of rising prices.

“House prices rose in the city long before Airbnb even existed and they have evolved in line with the dynamics of the real estate market, with investment in property in the context of a shortage in supply”, said the note.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake