Airbnb says Daft creating ‘misleading assumptions’

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Airbnb has accused Daft.ie of using “inaccurate” data and creating “misleading assumptions” after research appeared to indicate that more properties in Dublin were available for tourist lettings than for those in need of long-term housing.

The research produced by Daft.ie claimed that 53% of available rental properties this week in the capital were being advertised as short-term lets, sparking a renewed call from the Workers’ Party for a ban on short-term rental accommodation in the midst of the housing crisis.

However, while Airbnb yesterday rejected Daft’s analysis, daft.ie defended its research.

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “This report uses inaccurate scraped data to make misleading assumptions about our community. Entire home listings on Airbnb in Dublin last year represented just 1.1% of the available housing stock in the city, and the vast majority — 88% — of hosts share the home in which they live.

The spokesperson said Airbnb generated more than €506m in economic activity in Ireland last year and had put forward suggestions to the Government for clear and fair home-sharing rules for listings in Dublin.

But Daft.ie said it had used independent website Inside Airbnb and also listings for entire homes and apartments to let for landlords with two or more properties — which did not include house shares.

While it stood over its research, Airbnb said data from the Residential Tenancies Board, cross-matched with Airbnb data provided to the Oireachtas joint committee last year, suggested a typical Dublin property would need to be rented for well over 120 nights a year and, in some cases, closer to 200 nights a year to “outcompete” a long-term rental in income. “It is clear that the vast majority of entire home listings rented on Airbnb do not get close to that tipping point,” it said.

The 550 properties that were booked for more than 160 nights on Airbnb in 2016 represent just 0.10287% of all housing units in Dublin.

A Department of Housing spokesman said the Daft.ie data was a “just snapshot” and did not take into account properties available to rent that are advertised on other websites, or private lettings and lettings by agencies.

However, the department said Minister Eoghan Murphy was now considering a report by a working group, set up by the minister, which last year completed guidance for local authorities on planning applications relating to short-term lettings.

Since then, the group has looked at proposals for an appropriate regulatory approach for short-term tourism-related lettings and possible amendments to legislation.

The department spokesman said: “The report of the working group has now been submitted to the department and Minister Murphy will complete his consideration of it, including the need for a targeted public consultation, without delay.”

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