I’ve been involved in a research project on Airbnb in Vienna in the last months. Together with my colleagues Roman Seidl and Leonhard Plank (both TU Wien), we have analyzed the listings of the online platform in the city. The particular focus has been on the number and types of listings, the geographical distribution, as well as revenues generated by the hosts. An important part was also to estimate the impact of Airbnb on the local housing market.
Airbnb has rapidly expanded in many cities in recent years. Also in Vienna, the number of listings has skyrocketed. While in 2014 there were some 1.300 listings available in the city, in 2017 there were already 8.600. This amounts to a growth of 560%.
Airbnb claims that the platform enables residents to occassionally share a spare room in their home, or, at times, also their whole apartment. One of the key findings of our study is that a considerable share of Airbnb listings are not occassionally shared homes, but permanent holiday apartments. Of the around 8,500 listings in Vienna, some 70% are entire apartments. Of those, some 40% are permanently rented out holiday homes. In absolute numbers, we estimate that around 2,000 apartments in Vienna are permanent Airbnb homes. As these units are no longer available for regular renting, their removal affects the local housing market. This is particularly of concern as the permanent Airbnb aparments are highly concentrated in inner-city districts, where the pressure on the housing market is already very high. The removal of units from the regular rental market there will further push up rents and house prices.
The report of the study is available on an interactive website: http://wherebnb.in/wien/. For now only in German, but we are working on an English journal paper that I will share on here once published. The map below shows the density of Airbnb listings in Vienna, plotted on a 250x250m grid.