The Airbnb Community in Seattle

Home sharing allows ordinary people can take what is typically one of their greatest expenses – the cost of their housing – and turn it into a way to make ends meet. In Seattle, 60 percent of hosts say that hosting on Airbnb has helped them afford to stay in their homes. The typical host in Seattle earns about $8,000 per year by sharing his or her home, 59 percent of which goes towards household expenses like mortgage or rent.

Airbnb and our hosts want to work with cities like Seattle to create fair and progressive rules for home sharing. We recently released the Airbnb Community Compact in which we pledge to treat every city personally, build an open and transparent community, and promote responsible home sharing to make cities stronger. We are fully committed to being constructive partners with regulatory agencies and policymakers.

Today, we are excited to release a report that examines the benefits of home sharing in Seattle. Our team of data scientists analyzed Airbnb data, publicly available census and community survey data, and third-party data to comprehensively understand the positive impacts of the Airbnb community in Seattle.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Most entire home listings on Airbnb in Seattle are primary residents sharing their homes: 81% of all Airbnb hosts in Seattle are primary residents of the home they share.  Of that, 72% of Airbnb hosts in Seattle who share an entire home are sharing their primary residence — the home in which they live. An additional 14% are sharing a second home they live in for part of the year.
  • Most entire home listings on Airbnb in Seattle are rented only occasionally. Half of Airbnb entire home listings are rented on a short-term basis for less than thirty days of the year, and almost 80% are rented on a short-term basis for less than 90 days of the year.
  • Seattle’s long-term housing stock has remained stable.  The number of dedicated short- term rentals in Seattle has also remained constant at about 3,000 units since 2008 (before the first Airbnb visitor ever came to Seattle). The number of dedicated, permanent short-term rental units has not increased over the past seven years.
  • Most hosts make less money short-term renting than they could long-term renting. Airbnb hosts are overwhelmingly primary residents who occasionally short-term rent their home to earn supplemental income. On average, Seattle entire home units need to be short-term rented 157 days per year on Airbnb to make the same amount of money as long-term renting to a tenant; only 300 Airbnb listings in Seattle are rented more than 157 days per year, which to put in context, is less than one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of Seattle housing stock.

Download the entire report here