May 27, 2018

The Best, Worst Places for Short-Term Rentals

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The Best, Worst Places for Short-Term Rentals

Home owners living in Galveston, Texas, or Savannah, Ga., may fare the best if they’re hoping to score some extra income from short-term rentals.

The two cities scored the highest in a recent study of regulations allowing for short-term rentals on Airbnb and rivals – such as HomeAway Inc., FlipKey, Craigslist, and more, according to a new study by R Street, a nonprofit public policy research organization. The study evaluated 59 cities across the country.

Best Cities for Short-Term Rentals

  • Savannah, Ga.
  • Galveston, Texas
  • San Antonio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Cleveland
  • Detroit
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Milwaukee
  • Omaha. Neb.
  • Dallas
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Mesa, Ariz.
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego

The Worst Cities for Short-Term Rentals

  • Denver
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Oklahoma City
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • New Orleans
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Los Angeles

Source: R Street

Other cities scoring among the highest in the analysis included Louisville, Ky., and San Diego.

In general, however, most cities across the U.S. lacked a standard regulation around the industry for allowing short-term rentals.

“Our assessment is that the picture is not a pretty one,” says Andrew Moylan, author of the study. 

Airbnb Inc., which launched in 2007, is a platform for short-term rentals that is offered across the country. The company was recently valued at $25.5 billion. But as Airbnb’s popularity grows, many communities lack a clear standard of regulation that limits who can rent and for how long. In fact, many of the regulations are decided on a state or city level, which can therefore vary drastically from locales. In some cities, Airbnb is banned.

The cities in the study that scored the lowest for short-term rentals included Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, Calif.

“These cities all either have laws on the books that largely ban short-term rentals or construe their existing laws in ways that make [short-term rentals] impossible, in practical terms,” according to the report.

Source: “These Are the Best and Worst Cities for Airbnb,”® (March 18, 2016)