Airbnb Activity and Rental Markets in Canada

Aerial view of a Canadian town

Airbnb Activity and Rental Markets in Canada

Canadian Economics
Pages:27 pages25 min read

Author: The Conference Board of Canada


Was there a causal link between Airbnb activity and rent increases between 2016 and 2022? This data briefing looks at how much the increase in Airbnb has affected rents.

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Rents across Canadian cities have increased since 2016, alongside an increase in Airbnb activity. At the same time, cities and provinces across Canada have implemented regulations for short-term rentals, including restrictions limiting short-term rentals to a host’s principal place of residence in some locations.

The Conference Board of Canada sought to answer two key questions: i) To what extent has this increase in Airbnb activity resulted in higher rents for long-term renters? ii) Have policies regulating short-term rentals had any impact on Airbnb activity and/or long-term rents?

We leveraged data on variations in Airbnb activity within and across markets between 2016 and 2022—using actual Airbnb booking data rather than information scraped from its webpage. For example, out of the 30 per cent increase in rents observed in our sample of 330 neighbourhoods in 19 Canadian cities, how much can be attributed to increased Airbnb activity?

Read the data briefing for our full analysis.

Key findings
Airbnb activity in Canada
The estimated effect of Airbnb on long-term rental markets in Canada
Caveats and limitations
The effect of regulations on Airbnb activity and rents
Appendix A: Data
Appendix B: Methodology
Appendix C: Results
Appendix D: Bibliography

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