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NATIONAL PULSE – Urban dwellers want regulations for Airbnb

Nearly half would like to see their community follow Vancouver and Toronto in limiting short-term rentals

April 27, 2018 – As marquee cities around the world struggle with soaring real estate and rental prices and plummeting vacancy rates, policymakers have begun targeting Airbnb and other short-term rental services as part of their housing strategies.

In Canada, Toronto and Vancouver passed laws last year aimed at limiting the proportion of housing stock being used for short-term rental purposes, with Vancouver releasing new details of their arrangement with Airbnb earlier this month. A new poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds many Canadians – particularly those living in urban areas – eager to see similar regulations where they live.

Overall, some 45 per cent say they support placing limits on short-term rentals that aren’t primary residences, while 26 per cent are opposed and the rest (30%) are unsure.

This support for regulation comes as Canadians have grown significantly more familiar with Airbnb over the last two years. When the Angus Reid Institute asked about the company in 2016, nearly four-in-ten (38%) said they had never heard of it, and only 5 per cent had ever used the service. Today, fewer than one-in-seven (13%) have never heard of Airbnb, and the number who have used it has more than doubled (to 12%).

More Key Findings:

  • As familiarity with Airbnb has grown, so have both positive and negative views of the company. Today, some 50 per cent of Canadians have a positive opinion of Airbnb (up from 35% in 2016) and 21 per cent have a negative one (up from 15%)
  • Age is a key driver of both familiarity with Airbnb and views on regulating it, with younger respondents more likely to have used the service and to say it should continue to operate with minimal regulation
  • Residents of Metro Vancouver, where the housing crisis has been most acute, are the most likely to favour regulating Airbnb in the same way hotels are regulated (66% say this, compared to 49% in the rest of British Columbia)

Link to the poll here: angusreid.org/airbnb/

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About Mel Rothenburger (5674 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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