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Airbnb in Canada: 10% of hosts account for most of revenue, McGill study finds

Click to play video: 'Rent rising due to commercial properties using Airbnb' Rent rising due to commercial properties using Airbnb
McGill University researchers have found that Airbnb suites are effectively pricing renters out of the market. Eric Sorensen reports – Aug 8, 2017

MONTREAL —  New research suggests a small number of large commercial property owners are the most successful on Airbnb and are eating up the local supply of housing in Canada’s three largest cities in the process.

A team of urban planners from McGill University looked at Airbnb trends in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto and noted a 50 per cent increase in the number of short-term rental properties year over year.

LISTEN: Lead study author David Wachsmuth explains his findings to CKNW’s Steele & Drex

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Using figures from an analytics firm, lead author David Wachsmuth says his team found that 10 per cent of hosts account for the lion’s share of yearly revenue in the three Canadian cities.

The study, which is entitled “Short-term Cities: Airbnb’s Impact on Canadian Housing Markets,” is to be published later today.

READ MORE: Toronto to put the squeeze on Airbnb, short-term rental market

Airbnb is calling the McGill study baseless and says data was manipulated to misrepresent the profile of Airbnb hosts.

WATCH: How to protect yourself as an AirBNB host

Click to play video: 'How to protect yourself as an AirBNB host' How to protect yourself as an AirBNB host
How to protect yourself as an AirBNB host – Jul 26, 2017

A spokeswoman says 80 per cent of its users engage in short-term rentals of their primary residence to earn additional money.

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Wachsmuth says he doesn’t dispute those figures, but says they are misleading,

“We found two big things: the first is that there has been a very significant concentration of Airbnb activity – both in terms of what bookings are occurring and who is making money – among a very small set of hosts,” Wachsmuth said Tuesday.

“What we found is that just 10 per cent of hosts are accounting for a majority of the revenue (50 per cent) that’s being earned on Airbnb across the three cities. And that concentration is increasing.”

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