Victoria, British Columbia
According to recent reports, Victoria has the lowest apartment vacancy rate of any major city in Canada - at 0.6 per cent (down from 1.8 per cent last year).
City council, concerned about the impact on housing of illegal Airbnb rentals, has asked staff to develop policy for vacation rentals by September, 2016:
"if there are condos or rental units that would be housing but are now being used as short-term rentals, that’s what we’re trying to prohibit....very few vacation rental properties are operating within the current rules."
"Home Occupation" zoning By-laws, Schedule D, state that "Bed and Breakfasts" are prohibited except in single family dwellings, where "up to two bedrooms may be used for transient accommodation" (Section 11), and the owner must be present. They also add that a one parking space be provided for each room available.
The City of Victoria Department of Planning also indicated that "Single family dwellings that have a secondary suite are not permitted to have bed and breakfast as a home occupation."
There are also specifically zoned areas for Bed and Breakfast or Transient Accomodation, such as the RK-18 Zone, Linden Bed & Breakfast District and the T-1 Zone, Limited Transient Accommodation District. It's interesting to compare the disrespectful, arbitrary approach of platforms like Airbnb and their hosts to zoning; compared to the accountable, democratic processes of City Zoning By-laws.
Individual Strata By-laws for an apartment building may also specifically prohibit or permit transient or vacation rentals, and if they were inconsistent with City By-laws, it's unclear what would take precendence.
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: Victoria uses the following parameters:
If you are a data scientist, urban or public policy planner, researcher or journalist, get the data, analyze and publish your results.
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.
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How is Airbnb really being used in and affecting your neighbourhoods?
Airbnb guests may leave a review after their stay, and these can be used as an indicator of airbnb activity.
The minimum stay, price and number of reviews have been used to estimate the occupancy rate, the number of nights per year and the income per month for each listing.
How does the income from Airbnb compare to a long-term lease?
Do the number of nights booked per year make it impossible for a listing to be used for residential housing?
And what is renting to a tourist full-time rather than a resident doing to our neighbourhoods and cities?
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 year-round for tourists, probably don't have the owner present, could be illegal, and more importantly, are displacing residents.
See the disclaimers for how the Airbnb calendar may not be accurate.
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, are unlikely to be living in the property, and in violation of most short term rental laws designed to protect residential housing.
(## other listings)
$### income/month (est.)
X night minimum
x.x nights/year (est.)
##.#% occupancy rate (est.)
xxx days/year (##.#%)
click listing on map to "pin" details