Short-term rentals driving up rents claims study

Rents in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are being driven up by a small number of investors who operate as landlords in the short-term rental market, according to a new study.

The report from Montreal’s McGill University is released Tuesday and lead author Professor David Wachsmuth told CBC’s Daybreak that “just 10 per cent of hosts account for a majority of the revenue and the nights booked on Airbnb consistently in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal."

These owners, the professor said, are making homes unaffordable in their quest to make money from short-term rentals.

Montreal’s appeal to tourists makes the city especially attractive and Wachsmuth told CBC that property management companies are cashing in, claiming that one firm manages 160 properties.

However, the claims are disputed by Airbnb which told the broadcaster that more than 80% of hosts in its site are renting out their primary residences.

"A very small percentage of the entire housing stock in Montreal is rented frequently enough to out-compete a long-term rental, undercutting the author's baseless conclusions about housing units removed," Airbnb’s statement said.

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