New report: Airbnb generates no meaningful increase in rent across Canada

Elevated A-frame cabin lit from the inside atop a mountain overlook at sunset.

A report from the Conference Board of Canada found no compelling evidence that Airbnb activity, at current levels, had a meaningful impact on rent across Canada. The independent study, commissioned by Airbnb, is the first-of-its-kind to use booking data directly from Airbnb rather than information scraped from the platform, and the first to focus on the effect of Airbnb activity on rent in the Canadian market.

As the report states, the effect of Airbnb activity on rent is negligible, concluding that the number of Airbnbs in Canada is too small to make a tangible dent in Canada’s low housing stock.

The Board independently conducted its research using Airbnb data from 2016 to 2022, finding no compelling evidence that the level of Airbnb activity in Canada had a meaningful impact on housing affordability across 19 of the largest Canadian cities.

Strict regulations are not the solution to Canada’s housing crisis

The Board also found that strict regulations restricting short-term rentals to a host’s principal residence have not led to lower rent in the areas where restrictions were implemented. 

While we are always willing to work with governments to address community concerns, strict home-sharing regulations are not the solution to Canada’s housing crisis. Airbnb listings in Canada represent less than 1 percent of the overall housing supply in the country and the vast majority of hosts in Canada share just one home, with the typical Airbnb host sharing their home only occasionally – fewer than 50 nights per year1

Bringing economics benefits to Canadians

What’s more, is that many Canadians are turning to hosting as a way to help make ends meet during the cost of living crisis. According to a recent survey2, nearly eight in 10 hosts say income from home sharing has helped them cope with the rising cost of living.

Hosting also brings economic benefits to communities. A recent analysis of where Airbnbs exist in Canada found that nearly half of Canada is home to Airbnb listings in areas where hosts are often the primary–if not the only–providers of local accommodations and drivers of local tourism. 

With more than 7 million Canadians travelling on Airbnb domestically in 20223, Canadian guests are helping to support communities and small businesses often outside of traditional tourism hubs – supporting small businesses in communities that would otherwise not see those tourism dollars – while also providing a much-needed influx of accommodations for Canadians and guests from around the world. 

1Internal Airbnb data of the median nights hosted by Canadians from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022
2Internal survey of Canadian Airbnb hosts in 2022

3Internal Airbnb data of Canadian domestic guests from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022