Short-term Cities: Airbnb’s Impact on Canadian Housing Markets via McGill School of Urban Planning

Short-term Cities: Airbnb’s Impact on Canadian Housing Markets” via”McGill School of Urban Planning”

This report presents the first comparative analysis of short-term rentals in major Canadian cities. It relies on the most comprehensive third-party dataset of Airbnb activity available, and new methodological techniques for spatial analysis of big data.

Across the Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver regions, 81,000 Airbnb listings have been active at some point in the last year, and 51,000 in May 2017. Montreal had the largest number for most of the year, but Toronto is now taking first place. These listings are heavily concentrated in the central cities of the three CMAs, and they are growing rapidly; the three cities have experienced a 50% year-over-year increase. A majority of listings in all three cities are entire homes rather than private rooms.

Airbnb hosts in Canada’s largest three metropolitan regions earned a collective $430 million in revenue last year, an average of $5,300 per listing and a 55% increase over the year before. This growth is driven by Toronto, where total revenue nearly doubled year-over-year, and where average revenue per listing is also growing strongly. Revenue is highly concentrated among the most successful hosts; 10% of hosts earn a large majority of overall revenue. There are now 13,700 entire homes rented 60 days or more per year on Airbnb
in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, each of which is unlikely to be rented to long-term tenants. They account for one sixth of all Airbnb listings, and a majority of nights booked on the service. Even more worryingly, these listings are growing around 25% more rapidly than other categories of listings. Many
neighbourhoods—above all in Montreal—have seen two or three percent of their entire housing stock converted to de facto hotels.

The Province of Quebec was the first major Canadian jurisdiction to legalize short-term rentals, implementing a regime focused on recovering tax revenues. Toronto and Vancouver, acknowledging the wide range of impacts from short-term rentals have both proposed more stringent regulations, including limiting short-term rentals to principal residences.

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