May 22, 2024 - Business

Airbnb wants more renters to get in on hosting

The line chart shows the change from 2019 in the number of total Airbnb listings and apartments from January 2020 to April 2024. The data reveals a significant decrease in listings during 2020, with the lowest point in September. However, a steady recovery is observed from 2021 onwards, with a notable increase in total listings and apartments by 2024.
Data: AirDNA; Chart: Axios Visuals

A growing number of apartment buildings nationwide are allowing tenants to bank extra cash by hosting on Airbnb.

Why it matters: Rental affordability has plunged in recent years, and those who rent are feeling especially poor about their finances, according to the Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

Between the lines: Many landlords don't permit short-term rentals, but some big names including Greystar and Sentral have joined Airbnb's apartment platform.

  • Apartments accounted for about 16% of U.S. Airbnb listings in April 2024, per AirDNA, a short-term rental analytics firm.

How it works: In 2022, Airbnb launched Airbnb-friendly apartments (AFA), a marketplace to help renters find apartment buildings where they can use their primary residences for part-time hosting.

  • The platform grew last year to include more than 400 apartment buildings across 43 markets nationwide.
  • Buildings that partner with Airbnb receive a share of the total booking revenue, typically between 5% and 25%.
  • Roughly 1,000 U.S. renters are currently hosting through the program, a number Airbnb hopes to boost.
A table showing Airbnb-friendly apartment earnings by U.S. Metro Areas. San Diego leads with average earnings at $9,200 per host
Data: Airbnb; Table: Axios Visuals; Note: An Airbnb-friendly apartment (AFA) building is one in which tenants can rent out their apartment part time

What they're saying: "Everybody should have the ability to host, or share their home part time, to make some extra income," Jesse Stein, Airbnb's global head of real estate, tells Axios.

  • "We don't feel like homeownership should be a barrier."

What's next: The company says it will advocate for short-term rental rules that allow renters in more cities to share their space.

Go deeper: Homeowners are getting rich. Renters? Not so much

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