New Study: Airbnb has ‘No Significant Impact’ on Berlin Housing Market

A study, which was commissioned by Airbnb and conducted by GEWOS, found that Airbnb has no significant impact on Berlin Housing Market:

  • Home sharing on Airbnb has no significant impact on the housing market in Berlin, helps many Berliners afford rising living costs, helps low income families afford their homes
  • Housing concerns in Berlin primarily driven by rising population and lack of new homes being built.

The study found that the Berlin housing market is significantly impacted by a number of complex factors:

  • Growing population – The economic development of Berlin has led to growth in the local workforce and a large rise in the Berlin population. In 2015, Berlin gained more inhabitants than the entire population of neighbouring city Oranienburg.
  • Lack of new homes being built – Berlin must build an additional 26,000 homes a year to keep up with population growth in Berlin.
  • Low but rising rents – Historically low rents have triggered a strong upward dynamic in rent prices. This trend has not been slowed by the introduction of a federal rent control program. The price for newly rented apartments has increased by 6.6 percent in the last 12 months.
  • Increasing freehold prices – The price of freehold apartments has increased by 8 percent in the past year, which is higher than the increase in rent prices. This trend has been driven by a surge in investment driven by historically low house prices and low interest rates on financial markets.

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Analysis of Airbnb data shows the vast majority of Airbnb listings in Berlin are offered by people renting their own homes for a limited period of time; 63 percent were rented fewer than 30 days and only 20 percent were rented more than 60 days in the first half of 2016.

At a time of rapidly rising rents and house prices, Airbnb offers many local residents a chance to balance the books and afford their homes. The typical Airbnb host in Berlin earned €1,800 in 2015 and one third of hosts report being financially dependent on the additional income. By supporting low income households and helping them afford their homes, the additional income earned through Airbnb can help slow gentrification, especially in communities with high demand.

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Daniel Hofmann, Head of GEWOS in Berlin, said:

Airbnb listings account for 0.6 percent of the housing stock and have no significant impact on the Berlin housing market. Data shows the vast majority of Berliners share their homes to boost their income and guard against rapidly rising rents and living costs. Housing concerns in the city are driven by a number of complex factors, including population growth and a lack of new homes being built, and Berlin must almost triple its rate of house building to keep pace with current population growth.

Alexander Schwarz, Airbnb General Manager, said:

Airbnb helps thousands of Berliners earn some extra income, afford rising rents and living costs and brings benefits to more families and communities. We want to work with everyone in Berlin on clear, fair and proportionate rules to support regular people who share their homes; current rules are too broad, confusing and are badly flawed.

Please find here a key summary of the GEWOS Berlin housing market study.