Airbnb slump means Europe's cities can return to residents, say officials

Brossat said Airbnb listings had “collapsed” in Paris and hosts had registered just 40 stays with authorities in the first three weeks of April, compared to an average of 1,210 a month last year. In order to recoup their losses, owners are now turning to the conventional rental market, with hundreds, possibly thousands, of apartments being offered in Spanish cities for short lets of up to a year, clearly with an eye to a recovery in 2021. “Of course they’ll make less than they would renting to tourists.” Paris city hall, also a longstanding opponent of Airbnb’s relentless expansion, estimates the platform deprives the city’s residents of about 30,000 homes used exclusively for short-term tourist lets, including up to 25% of apartments in the four central arrondissements. “Several hundred apartments in central Paris could be involved.” However, the numbers switching to medium- and long-term rentals is a stream, not a river, and suggests most hosts plan to sit tight in the hope tourists return later this year. However, Ó Broin and housing activists hope the renewed scrutiny on Airbnb will prompt authorities to extend and enforce regulations to oblige hosts who have more than one property to obtain planning permission. Ó Broin proposes making it illegal for Airbnb and estate agents to advertise non-compliant properties, and to enforce that with fines. In a statement, a spokesperson said: “Today there are more listings on Airbnb than a year ago and our platform will continue to be an economic lifeline for hosts in future. We willcontinue to work with cities to ensure that everyone benefits from travel on Airbnb, based on our experience of collaborating with more than 500 governments and organisations acrosstheworld.” Many more jobs will be lost in the coming year. An internal Barcelona city council report predicts that many small- and medium-sized tourist-oriented businesses will not survive and refers to an “irrecoverable loss of jobs” and the prospect of “streets with no life or commerce, especially in the areas most oriented to tourism”.