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Airbnb Backlash Could Be a Boost for Hotels

Rising rents may be contributing to a social media backlash against the company.
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Most analysts assumed that Airbnb would suffer during the pandemic, instead the company thrived as newly untethered travelers took advantage of their freedom. 

The company posted soaring revenue for the final quarter of 2021, raking in a record $834 million.

"Something bigger than a travel rebound is happening. The world is undergoing a revolution of how we live and work," co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said on the call at the time.

However, there is evidence Airbnb's success is coming at the expense of long-term renters. 

The typical asking price for renters in the U.S. surpassed $2,000 for the first time ever in May, according to Redfin

Year over year there has been a 15.2% increase in rents, led by 30% increases in cities like Nashville, Seattle, and Cincinnati.

Austin led the country with a 48% year over year increase in average rent. Miami rounded out the top five with a 29% increase.  

"Although we expect rent-price growth to continue to slow in the coming months, it will likely remain high, causing ongoing affordability issues for renters," Taylor Marr, Redfin deputy chief economist said. 

Social Media Reacts

People online are not happy with Airbnb  (ABNB) - Get Airbnb Inc. Report right now. 

They blame the company for rising rents. 

New York City ranks eighth in the country with a 24% increase in rent, according to Redfin. 

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But the online battle against Airbnb isn't just about its economic impact. Twitter users were also taking the company to task over the product they offer. 

Comments like this started a discussion about the the experience of staying at a hotel vs. staying at an Airbnb. While social media is by no means a scientific poll, it was clear which option twitter preferred. 

Not everyone is on team hotel over team Airbnb though. 

Airbnb's Plan To Tackle Housing Crisis

The housing situation in some Irish towns was entering crisis levels in May. 

A lack of housing options for long-term renters was driving up prices in tourist towns like Kilkee and Cobh. 

In Kilkee, there was one long-term property available to rent on popular rental site compared to 74 full homes for short-term rentals across hosting sites, according to the Irish Examiner

Part of the reason for the discrepancy in listings is that “you can make as much in a week in Kilkee in July as you can make for a month if it were long term,” local government councilor Cillian Murphy told the Examiner. 

Recognizing the toll hosting platforms like Airbnb have taken on affordable housing in Ireland, the company issued a statement this week, vowing to work with the government to "protect housing."

"As Irish families battle rising living costs and a housing shortage, we want to work with the government to unlock new economic opportunities, help enforce the rules and play our part in protecting housing," Amanda Cupples, Airbnb's GM for Northern Europe said. 

The company is calling on the Irish government to establish a landlord register in order to aid the company in keeping bad actors off the platform. 

Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it has plans to advocate for similar laws in the U.S.