Travel

In a razor-thin rental market, Airbnb is getting a lot of the blame – vtdigger.org

future-dyanmics




Today’s Business news sponsored by:
By

A story on the financial news website Business Insider — and accompanying viral tweet — has drawn attention to the effects of Airbnbs on Vermont’s razor-thin rental market. 
The article profiles a “millennial couple” from Connecticut who created an “Airbnb empire” by buying six properties to rent, and managing the rental of nine more in southern Vermont. According to the story, the couple rakes in over $100,000 in gross bookings per month.
Insider pitched the tale as one of capitalist ingenuity. Not everyone read it that way.
Emily Allyce Rampone, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and a current entomology Ph.D. student at Washington State University, took to Twitter to voice her disdain.
“Dear out of state investors, This is NOT a feel-good piece. Your ‘empire’ is contributing to a serious housing shortage in VT. Please stop,” read the tweet, which has since been shared over 20,000 times. 
Dear out of state investors,

This is NOT a feel-good piece.

Your "empire" is contributing to a serious housing shortage in VT.

Please stop. pic.twitter.com/IFiufawhlv
Facing a critical lack of housing, the Vermont Legislature and the governor’s office have made housing investment a priority. But rents have outpaced wages, and it can take many months for some people to find a place to rent. 
The Windham Windsor Housing Trust helps people find affordable housing to rent and own in the corner of Vermont at the center of the Insider piece. Elizabeth Bridgewater, the organization’s executive director, said an influx of out-of-state buyers has decreased the number of local people she works with who are able to purchase homes. 
“We’re seeing a lot of people (buying) with cash, and no contingencies,” Bridgewater said. “Local folks that are buying their first home, and anybody buying their first home, unless they have a lot of family money, or significant savings, it’s usually scraping together that last nickel to squeeze into that new home.”
With the onset of the pandemic, Bridgewater noticed more people moving to Vermont from around New England who are able to work high-paying jobs remotely. 

Megan McMahon, a real estate agent and rental property manager who focuses on properties near Stratton Mountain Resort, said that pre-Covid, she saw people who fit the Insider profile snatching up properties to rent in southern Vermont.
“The 30-somethings were picking up and doing Airbnbs,” focusing on properties around $300,000, she said. The age and price demographic both match the Connecticut couple of the viral tweet.
But according to McMahon, the housing boom — which was accelerated by the pandemic — raised the price of homes in the ski towns where she works, leading many rental property operators to cash out and sell their houses.
Although short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway have been around for over a decade, their effects on housing markets are not fully understood.

A 2021 Carnegie Mellon University study found that short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have caused a larger reduction in affordable housing units than any other income level of rental housing. 
A study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, focusing on the New York City rental market, found that Airbnb increased rental prices across all income brackets but had the largest effect on more expensive housing
Across Vermont, communities have sought to regulate short-term rentals with varying success. Burlington’s City Council passed sweeping restrictions on short-term rentals, but the mayor ultimately vetoed that measure. The ski resort town of Stowe has rental regulations, including restricting rentals of less than one week. And Hartland has proposed limiting Airbnbs by adding clarifying language to its town plan.
Bridgewater, the affordable housing specialist, noted that in southern Vermont’s rental stock, single-family homes play a larger role than in much of the rest of the country. Those homes are more likely to make attractive vacation destinations than smaller, multi-unit apartments, which make up more of the rental stock nationwide. 
But though housing inventory was recently lower than she’d ever seen it, Bridgewater said there’s reason to believe the market might be changing — slowly. 
“I think we’re seeing a little bit of loosening up on the pressure that we saw over the last two years,” she said, pointing to the higher frequency with which her buyers’ offers are being accepted. “We’re feeling pretty hopeful about that.”
Want to stay on top of the latest business news? Sign up here to get a weekly email on all of VTDigger’s reporting on local companies and economic trends. And check out our new Business section here.
Our journalism is made possible by member donations from readers like you. If you value what we do, please contribute during our annual fund drive and send 10 meals to the Vermont Foodbank when you do.
Ethan Weinstein is a general assignment reporter focusing on Windsor County and the surrounding area. Previously, he worked as an assistant editor for the Mountain Times and wrote for the Vermont Standard.
Email: eweinstein@vtdigger.org
View all stories by Ethan Weinstein
VTDigger is now accepting letters to the editor. For information about our guidelines, and access to the letter form, please click here.

More obituaries
By

By

By

More commentary
By

By

By

More politics
VTDigger’s food and news drive aims to send 10,000 meals to the Vermont Foodbank by Thanksgiving Day. Please donate what you can to fight hunger and sustain the facts.
 

source



future-dyanmics

Related posts
Travel

How to Plan the Best Vacation - Real Simple

Katie James Watkinson is a lifestyle editor, writer, and content creator with two decades of…
Read more
Travel

Omicron is prompting new rules for international travel to the U.S. Here's what you need to know - CNBC

Omicron is prompting new rules for international travel to the U.S. Here’s what you need to…
Read more
Travel

Tips for Holiday Traveling with Pets - Thrillist

Read more
Newsletter
Join THE PRO PEOPLE Family

Sign up for The Pro People Community's Daily Digest and get the best of Industry updates, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *