Airbnb washes its hands of Dublin rental crisis

Property owners aren't foregoing long-term rental for their short-term service, it tells Oireachtas housing committee...

Airbnb has defended itself against accusations that it is contributing to the Dublin rental crisis before an Oireachtas committee on the matter today.

The home-sharing giant made the case that the vast majority of hosts in the capital are renting out rooms in their primary abodes and that a person would have to rent out a room for well over 120 days per year to surpass the revenue you earn from a long-term rental.

Airbnb has come in for criticism from campaigners who say they're squeezing out renters, with property owners opting to take in tourists instead.

Patrick Robinson, the San Francisco-based company's director of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, gave the committee an extensive breakdown of its user base.

He said:

"A rough look at data from the Residential Tenancies Board, cross-matched with our own records of host earnings suggests that a typical unit of housing in Dublin would need to be rented for well over 120 nights a year to out-compete a long-term rental – and in some parts of the city, closer to 200 nights.

"Only 550 entire home properties were booked via Airbnb for more than 160 nights – and these account for just one in every thousand housing units in Dublin."

"Looking at the total number of entire home listings in any given area isn't necessarily an indication of the impact on long-term housing," Robinson continued.

"Very few of those listings would likely be available for long-term housing absent Airbnb.

"The vast majority of these homes are places where Dubliners already live, which means that there is no simple or accurate conclusion to be drawn about the availability or affordability of housing in Dublin from a headline number of total homes."