New York City

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Airbnb in New York City

New York City is a city of renters, vacancy rates are at crisis levels, and rents continue to rise.

Income levels for the average New Yorker haven't kept pace, and affordability is at record lows. Housing is scarce; homelessness levels are increasing; food insecurity is growing; and economic and racial inequality rates in New York City are near the highest in the United States.

It's at this time that short term rental platforms, dominated by Airbnb, have entered the market, and grown to have listings of tens of thousands of rooms and entire apartments.

Airbnb addresses the demand for tourist accommodation and creates an income stream for "hosts," and ignores both the need for and loss of housing.

Behind buzzwords like "the sharing economy" and "disruptive," Airbnb as a platform simply allows many of their hosts to operate unlicensed, unregulated and untaxed hotels in residential neighborhoods.

The taxes that Airbnb refuses to collect for the city are being used as leverage in Airbnb's corporate lobbying and marketing campaigns to force the city and state to legitimize their business model and legalize Airbnb hosts' activities.

This "bribe" hides the fact that Airbnb is enabling a massive abuse of housing in New York City, and in particular, in rapidly changing and gentrifying neighborhoods.

Take Action!

If you feel strongly about the impact of Airbnb and want to strengthen enforcement, or the relevant laws, licensing, zoning or taxation that cover short term rentals in New York City, participate in the following ways:

If you are a journalist, consider writing about what you learnt from the site about the impact of Airbnb on the city or your community.

If you are a statistician or civic hacker, get the data, analyze and publish your results. If you would like your visualizations hosted, or linked to from this site, please contact

Supporters of Airbnb

Airbnb maintains an extensive marketing and lobbying site that talks about Airbnb in New York City, including Host Stories, and how to Take Action in support of Airbnb.

They provide "facts" on Economic Impact, Trust and Safety and Sandy Impact.

There is a blog about Airbnb Public Policy news from around the world, and a very nice, but not very informative visualization at A World of Belonging on Airbnb.

Airbnb Opponents

The New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, has been actively pursuing issues with Airbnb, including the breaking of regulations and laws. In October 2014, his office released a report titled "Airbnb In The City" based on data provided by Airbnb in an out of court settlement after a subpoenia was issued.

Share Better is a coalition of friends, neighbors, community activists and elected officials. Their site has stories about experiences with Airbnb and information about Airbnb and the "sharing economy," and ways to get involved.

Liz Krueger is a New York State senator who represents the Upper East Side and is a determined Airbnb foe.

Recently, the New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has been vocal about the impact Airbnb is having on the housing market.

Data about Airbnb

Inside Airbnb

Inside Airbnb provides data compiled from the Airbnb web-site for listings available for New York City.

A conservative occupancy model has been built in order to estimate Occupancy Rates, Income per Month and Nights per Year. More information on the methodolgy of the occupancy model can be found in the disclaimers.

Inside Airbnb: New York City uses the following parameters:

If you are a statistician or civic hacker, get the data, analyze and publish your results.

If you would like your visualizations hosted, or linked to from this site, please contact


Airbnb provides NO PUBLIC DATA to help understand the use of their platform and the impact on cities around the world.

Airbnb also provide NO DATA to cities or states to assist them in ensuring that Airbnb hosts and Airbnb are following the local laws.

Other data

Until now, the main source of data on Airbnb has been the NYS Attorney General's Report, "Airbnb In The City" released in October 2014. The often quoted statistic from that report is that "75% of Airbnb's NYC rentals are illegal."

In February 2014, an article published by Jason Clampet in Skift, Airbnb in NYC: The Real Numbers Behind the Sharing Story, contained some detailed statistics obtained from the New York City listings on the Airbnb site.

A similar analysis was undertaken by Carolyn Said from the San Francisco Chronicle in Window into Airbnb’s hidden impact on S.F..

Tom Slee regularly scrapes the Airbnb site to produce maps of Airbnb use around the world.

The Law

There is a 2010 New York State Law that makes it illegal to rent out a Class A Multi-Dwelling building for less than 30 days without the owner/resident present.

Local Law No. 45 of 2012 of New York City which covers the illegal conversion of a dwelling from permanent residences to other uses, notably short-stay hotel rooms. The law adds definitions of the type of conversions that are illegal, and increases fines for violations. The Legislative Findings include a "declaration of emergency" due to the lack of available apartments and cites a city-wide vacancy rate of only 3.12% in 2011.

There are other laws that might apply to an Airbnb host including taxes, rent regulation, zoning codes, business licensing and contracts including leases. Airbnb was forced in an out of court settlement to provide this information to their hosts.

Housing in New York City

The Rent Guidelines Board provides extensive reports on housing in New York City, covering topics such as their Housing Supply Report; and Income and Afforability Study.

NYU Furman Center provides research on Housing in New York City. Here's a great infographic which talks about the NYC Rental Landscape.


Close About Airbnb in New York City

Airbnb affects the city's housing supply and affordability. Explore the key variables of Airbnb use and how it impacts your neighborhood.

Room Type

entire homes/apartments
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entire home/apartments
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private rooms
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shared rooms

Airbnb hosts can list entire homes/apartments, private or shared rooms.

Depending on the room type, availability, and activity, an airbnb listing could be more like a hotel, disruptive for neighbors, taking away housing for New Yorkers, and illegal.


estimated nights/year
estimated occupancy
estimated income/month

Airbnb guests may leave a review after their stay, and these can be used as an indicator of airbnb activity (although not all guests leave a review, so the actual booking activity would be much higher).

The minimum stay, price and number of reviews have been used to estimate a minimum income per month for each listing.

How does the income from running a defacto hotel (an Airbnb room or apartment) compare to a long-term lease for an average New Yorker?

And more importantly, what is renting to a tourist rather than a resident doing to our neighborhoods?

load reviews
Animate reviews


high availability
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listings w high availability
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listings w low availability
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An Airbnb host can setup a calendar for their listing so that it is only available for a few days or weeks a year.

Other listings are available all year round (except for when it is already booked).

Entire homes or apartments highly available and rented frequently year-round to tourists, probably don't have the owner present, are illegal, and more importantly, are displacing New Yorkers.

Even private rooms or sublets have also traditionally been homes for many New Yorkers, so renting them to tourists instead also reduces housing supply.

Listings per Host

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single listings
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Some Airbnb hosts have multiple listings.

A host may list separate rooms in the same apartment, or multiple apartments or homes available in their entirity.

Hosts with multiple listings are more likely to be running a business without a license and not paying taxes, and if they are renting out an entire home or apartment and aren't present, are probably doing so illegally.

Host Name #Listings


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$### est. income/month

$### /night

X night minimum

x.x est. nights/year

##.#% est. occupancy rate

x.x reviews/month

### reviews

last: xx/xx/xxxx

[HIGH/LOW] availability

xxx days/year (##.#%)

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