Ontario coalition takes a shot at Airbnb in Toronto

While Airbnb has emerged as a popular option in the scarcity-ridden Toronto rental sector, a local coalition has called on city authorities to take on a stricter approach to the short-term rental market.

In its recent report, Fairbnb—an alliance of hotel groups and rental associations—argued that the short-term condo rental sector epitomized by Airbnb has done more harm than good to the chances of prospective tenants. 

“I think it definitely has (contributed to the rental crisis),” according to Fairbnb’s Thorben Wieditz, as quoted by CityNews.

“The city of Toronto’s vacancy rate is 1.3 per cent — in some of the condo buildings and condo districts it’s actually below one per cent — and removing any units of the housing market will definitely decrease the supply and increase the demand, increase the prices, and make it more difficult for people to find a place to live.”

Faribnb is strongly advocating for a “one host, one listing” policy, which is designed to address the phenomenon of some buyers/renters controlling multiple properties.

“There are about 12,000 listings in the city of Toronto, and one of the remarkable things we found … is that 16 per cent of the hosts that rent out on Airbnb have multiple listings on the platform at any given moment,” Wieditz explained, adding that these hosts hold roughly 40 per cent of the city’s Airbnb listings.

“The overarching goal of our policy recommendations is to put any available rental listing back onto the traditional rental market.”

Late last year, Globe and Mail markets observer Rob Carrick wrote that over the past few quarters, renting has become a more financially sensible option for a growing segment of the Canadian population—and this is a reality that the market must adapt to by accommodating increased renting
“The last socially encouraged form of intolerance is directed at people who rent instead of owning a home,” Carrick said.
“If house prices keep rising, we’ll need to get over this narrow-mindedness. In expensive real estate markets, it’s both common and accepted that a majority of households rent,” he added. “[There’s] no getting around the fact that as house prices climb, the home-ownership rate will fall. The result is more renters.”

Related stories:
Landlords recoup investments faster through Airbnb, study says
To regulate or not to regulate?

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