This Arizona Housing Market Is 20% Airbnb Rentals
August 22, 2019
Airbnb short-term vacation rentals are taking over Sedona, Ariz., and residents are not pleased about it. In Sedona, 20% of the housing inventory is being offered on Airbnb.
Unlike recent moves by larger cities to limit Airbnbs, the state of Arizona has taken the opposite approach. It recently passed what’s known as “the Airbnb bill,” which was described as a way for homeowners to make extra money by renting out spare bedrooms in their homes.
Now, residents say the bill was too friendly toward short-term rentals and went too far by not capping the number of Airbnbs. Residents complain of investors swooping into neighborhoods and snatching up multiple homes that they can rent out to short-term renters. Residents argue that these vacation renters are driving up housing costs and changing neighborhood dynamics. An estimated 1,000 homes—or 20% of the city’s housing stock—is now being used as short-term vacation rentals, the Arizona Republic reports.
“We never anticipated that somebody would go into a neighborhood, purchase a home, and turn it into a mini-hotel,” Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, acknowledged to concerned residents at a recent city meeting in Sedona.
With housing costs outpacing the rest of the country, a group of Sedona city residents called on lawmakers to put caps on the number of rentals to soften some of the impact.
Lawmakers across the country have targeted short-term rentals in recent months. Massachusetts recently passed a law to extend the state’s current 5.7% hotel tax to the majority of short-term rentals. That could jump to an additional 9% if an owner rents out two more units in the same community. Also, New York City has issued a subpoena to Airbnb to demand that it turn over the listing data in the city’s move to add greater checks and balances on landlords who may be illegally renting out apartments.
“‘They Killed Our City’: Locals Feel Helpless as Vacation Rentals Overrun Sedona, Arizona,” Arizona Republic (July 27, 2019) and “Airbnb Takes Over 20% of Housing in Arizona Housing,” HousingWire (Aug. 21, 2019)
Updated: September 13, 2019