Whether or not you’ve ever actually stayed in an Airbnb, you know how it works. People list their properties for rent like a hotel, and visitors can book stays there for a certain amount of money per night.
If you were planning a trip to Vancouver and have been planning on finding an accommodation on Airbnb, you will have a significantly harder time doing so than in years past.
The number of listings for the city have dropped by about half recently.
In April of this year, there were 6,600 listings on Airbnb. Today that number has dropped to 3,742, according to the city.
The drop is due to new regulations the city has put in place to cut down on people renting properties that they aren’t using themselves.
Vancouver residents are now only allowed to list their primary place of living on the site and have to pay a $49 licence fee each year.
The city introduced the regulations as a way of forcing people to put property they aren’t living in back onto the long-term rental market, something Vancouver has had a shortage of for many years, causing one woman to pay $1,000 a month to sleep in a tent.
The number of listings on the site are likely to drop even more as the city begins to enforce the regulations.
So far the city has issued 2,630 licences for people, meaning the other 1,112 listings are all breaking the rules.
This means people hoping to find an Airbnb in the city will have fewer options to choose from. It could also drive up the prices per night as the number of listings drops.
Vancouver's Airbnb market is already very expensive, with many of the prices downtown being at least $300 or more (a night).
In Toronto, Canada's other most pricey city, the cost is significantly less. Many of the costs for downtown in the city are under $200 and none of them are $300.
If you, or someone you know, is currently violating the rules in Vancouver the penalties are severe. Fines can be as high as $1,000 a day if you’re caught and don’t take the listing down.
So if you’re looking for a place to stay in Vancouver be prepared to have less choice and possibly higher prices as well.