Airbnb owners in Victoria try to sell micro units but no one is buying

Click to play video: 'Short-term rental rule concerns for B.C. property owners'
Short-term rental rule concerns for B.C. property owners
With new provincial regulations severely limiting short-term rentals, many property owners find themselves on the losing end of the law. They're trying to unload properties they can no longer list on Airbnb and VRBO, leading to a fire sale of sorts in the condo market. Kylie Stanton reports. – Jan 11, 2024

Many B.C. residents fear they are going to take a significant financial hit when new short-term rental rules come into effect on May 1.

Property owners will no longer be able to post places to stay on sites like Airbnb unless they are in principal residences.

Since the new rules were announced in October, sales and prices of units in short-term rental buildings have plunged.

In Victoria, realtors say, of the roughly 70 listings, there have only been a couple of sales.

“Property owners are definitely stressed,” Ira Willey, a Victoria realtor, said Thursday. “I think they are faced with a really hard decision right now. Do you rent out long-term, do you try to sell it? I think what’s happened to the owners is really unfair.”

Click to play video: 'Victoria using ‘Airbnb tax’ to fund affordable housing'
Victoria using ‘Airbnb tax’ to fund affordable housing

B.C. Premier David Eby, however, was not very sympathetic to the situation when asked about it.

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“So while nobody wants to see these individuals lose money, quite frankly they made a decision to invest in the housing market in a way that didn’t create housing units,” Eby said.

“In fact, took housing units away from people looking for a place to live. We’re in a housing crisis. They shouldn’t be surprised.”

Many people who purchased 240-square-foot micro units in places like the Janion in Victoria said they would only work for short stays and are not suited for long-term rentals.

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