NYC: Report on the Anti-Airbnb Advertising Law

November 16, 2016

by Murray Cox

Key facts

The Anti-Airbnb Advertising Law

On October 21 2016, New York State Governor Cuomo signed into law a new bill, the "Anti-Airbnb Advertising Law", which effectively makes it illegal to rent out most apartments in NYC on short-term-rental platforms like Airbnb, if the "host" is not present, and the stay would be for less than 30 days.

Prior to the new bill, it was still illegal to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days, if the owner or tenants were not present, however the old law:

Affect of the bill on the number of entire home/apartment listings

Almost two weeks after the signing of the bill, with the prospect of increased and ease of enforcement, data shows that the number of illegal Entire Homes and Apartments between October and November dropped only 5.9% (from 20,306 to 19,116).


Inside Airbnb: NYC. 2016 by Room Type

Hosts hiding "Entire home/apartment" listings

On closer examination of the Entire Homes and Apartments which disappeared between October and November, 343 listings (or 29% of the reduced number of listings) changed from the illegal "Entire Home/apartments" to "Private room" or "Shared room". An analysis of these listings show that the prices and the description did not meaningfully change, implying that hosts were attempting to hide their illegal entire home/apartment listings by incorrectly categorizing them as a potentially allowed type of listing.

Inside Airbnb: NYC hosts change listing type to avoid law

Continued commercial use

The impact on Airbnb on New York's residential communities is profound. A recent report, "Short Changing New York City", found that there were 8,058 "impact" listings, permanently removing residential housing. The report showed that if these impact listings were returned to the housing supply, the number of vacant rental units citywide would increase by 10 percent.

A cursory look at hosts advertising multiple listings shows that commercial activity on Airbnb is still widespread:

Entire Homes/Apartments

Number of Listings controlled by Host

Number of Listings

% of Total

1 17,433 91%
2 1,094 6%
3+ 589 3%
Total 19,116

Private Rooms

Number of Listings controlled by Host

Number of Listings

% of Total

1 12,536 68%
2 2,920 16%
3+ 2,964 16%
Total 18,420

Shared Rooms

Number of Listings controlled by Host

Number of Listings

% of Total

1 837 60%
2 130 9%
3+ 433 31%
Total 1,400

Conclusion

Despite the prospect of increased enforcement under the new Anti-Airbnb Advertising Law, Airbnb and their NYC hosts have responded with disregard - only a small number of illegal listings have been taken off the market, and many hosts are blatantly trying to hide their illegal listings through simple misdirection. We wait to see how the city's enforcement team will respond.


Get the Data

To access the Inside Airbnb data used in this report, download it here for your own analysis.