The Airbnb Home Sharing Activity Report: Seattle

Airbnb is a people-to-people platform—of the people, by the people and for the people—that was created during the Great Recession to help people around the world use what is typically their greatest expense, their home, to generate supplemental income.

To date, there have been more than 80 million guest arrivals at listings spread across more than 34,000 cities, and there will be more people home sharing tomorrow than there are today.

We want to enhance our relationships with these cities. To achieve that goal, in November 2015, we released the Community Compact, which outlines a series of commitments we are making to be good partners with cities, including a commitment to share data: cities need information to make sound policies. Over the past six months, we have released data about the impact of the Airbnb community in Seattle, from our impact on housing to the positive economic benefits that home sharing has brought to the City.

Today we are releasing a home sharing activity report, which includes updated data on the Airbnb community in Seattle, Washington. This report is based on Airbnb booking data and a survey of Seattle hosts and guests conducted in February 2016.

Key findings in Seattle:

  • In 2015, the Airbnb community generated $180 million in economic activity in Seattle.
  • 11%said that their income from hosting had prevented them from losing their home to foreclosure or eviction. At that rate, over 350 Seattle hosts have avoided foreclosure or eviction and kept their home due to the supplemental income they make from hosting on Airbnb.
  • 87% of Airbnb hosts in Seattle are sharing their permanent home, and the typical Airbnb listing in Seattle is rented 80 nights per year.
  • There were 198,000 guest arrivals at Airbnb listings in Seattle in 2015.

Economic Activity in the City of Seattle

In 2015, the Airbnb community generated $180 million in economic activity in the city of Seattle. This revenue supports jobs, helps local hosts make ends meet, and is spread across Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods and local businesses, including neighborhoods that have not traditionally benefited from tourism.

Airbnb expands the economic pie for residents of Seattle. In 2015, the typical Airbnb listing in Seattle was rented 80 nights per year. The housing study released late last year concluded that, on average, Seattle entire home units need to be short-term rented 157 days per year on Airbnb to outcompete the income earned from renting to a long-term tenant. The income a host makes can also be crucial to helping Seattle residents afford to stay in their homes. In a survey of Airbnb hosts in Seattle, 11% said that their income from hosting had prevented them from losing their home to foreclosure or eviction.

Geography and Frequency of Hosting in Seattle

Airbnb hosts in Seattle are spread across the city, welcoming guests who are exploring neighborhoods that haven’t typically benefitted from tourism in the past, and the benefits of hosting are flowing to historically underserved communities.

The overwhelming majority of these Airbnb hosts are sharing space in their primary residence. In Seattle, 87% of Airbnb hosts in 2015 were renting out their primary residence.

And these hosts are welcoming travelers to Seattle on an occasional basis. The typical listing in Seattle in 2015 was rented for 80 nights, or fewer than 7 nights per month. Listings in Seattle hosted an average of 40 guests per listing over the course of 2015.

Percentage of hosts who rent out their primary residence: 87%
Number of nights the typical Seattle listing was rented in 2015: 80 nights
Number of guests the typical Seattle listing hosted over the course of 2015: 40 guests
Guest arrivals at Airbnb listings in Seattle in 2015: 198,000 guest arrivals
Average length of Airbnb guest stay: 3.6 days

We believe that home sharing can and should be regulated, but needs to be done in a way that allows middle class families to continue sharing their homes – we look forward to continuing that conversation with policymakers in Seattle.