Singapore has strict rules for short-term housing rentals. And perhaps the restriction is a timely one. While home sharing has boosted the tourism industry, cities popular with tourists now find themselves in a bit of a bind.
Home sharing pushing up property prices in some cities
In cities where housing shortages already exist, residents now find themselves priced out of the property market. Speculators and opportunistic investors are picking up properties and then pushing up rental rates.
Residents looking for long-term accommodation may not be able to find a place to live while tourists invade neighbourhoods.
There are no real means of enforcing or preventing the abhorrent actions of these short-term renters. And neighbours of these home-share properties are often left to deal with the mess and noise that comes with the business.
More than just an economic issue, websites such as Airbnb have become a political issue in cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris. It is a toss-up between boosting tourism and creating jobs, and managing housing the needs of citizens.
Hotels losing market share
Paris is one of the biggest markets for home sharing, with more than 100,000 listings across platforms. According to the city’s reports, the city has almost 20,000 lodgings transformed into furnished apartments for tourists.
This means that many of the middle-class Parisians are finding it more difficult to buy or rent a home. Not to mention the loss of identity and security issues.
Is it feasible to entirely cease home sharing? Probably not as it is a viable business that does aid economies and industries. But checks may be required to maintain the delicate balance between social harmony and economic growth.