Dublin's Airbnb market is 'out of control'

With prices higher than Paris, the chairman of Temple Bar Residents Association says Airbnb is also fuelling the housing crisis...

Dublin has been named the 23rd most expensive city in the world for a couple looking to rent an Airbnb room.

A new Bloomberg World Airbnb Cost Index puts the rate for two people at $117 (€105) a night, making it more costly than Copenhagen, Vancouver and Paris.

Airbnb costs in the Irish capital are shooting up, with hosts now earning an average of €168 a week for a shared room, €256 a week for a private room, and €508 for the full property.

You can also snag an airbed in the living room of a city centre apartment for €38 a night.

There are currently over 2,000 Dublin properties available on Airbnb's website alone, and the news has been greeted with criticism this morning.

Frank McDonald, chairman of Temple Bar Residents' Association and former Irish Times environment editor, told Newstalk Breakfast that there was "no doubt" that the current situation being out of control.

McDonald said:

"Dublin is facing a major housing crisis. In fact, I would say it's an emergency at this stage, with the local authorities expected to spend about €40m this year accommodating homeless families in hotel rooms.

"And at the same time we have this extraordinary growth in the number of apartments and houses that are being let out for short-term use, for holiday use, via Airbnb and other agencies."

Asked by presenter Vincent Wall whether many of these properties would otherwise be available to rent long-term, he continued:

"The Airbnb thing started off several years ago as a concept where people would rent out an airbed in a room in their apartment or house to a visitor for 'x' amount of money.

"That has mushroomed into entire homes being offered for rental through Airbnb and other agencies...

"There are, we would estimate, 3,000 houses available as entire homes."

He said a lot of landlords are now getting into the lucrative Airbnb market, and cited one instance where a two-bedroom apartment advertised for sale through Daft.ie for €425,000 had a declared income of €79,000 through Airbnb in the previous year.

"The prices that we've come across are really quite staggering," he said. "This is an entirely unregulated market."

To solve the problem, McNamara suggested Dublin City Council looks to the action Berlin has taken, where hosts are now required to register and get permission to rent. They aim to get 12,000 residential units back into the housing market as a result.

"The real problem," he says, "is where an apartment or house is being let for holiday use for the duration of the year more or less."

"It's a particular problem at a time when there is a housing crisis.

"Don't forget, if you look up the Daft.ie website, you will find that there's only 1,200 to 1,300 apartments for letting to live in in the city at the moment.

"And yet there's well over 2,000 available for short-term holiday use.

"That is something that is, in my opinion, a deeply antisocial phenomenon at a time when the city has a housing crisis."