The way the housing market is these days a lot has been made about Airbnbs, short-term rentals, and real estate investment companies. In fact, earlier this summer the Charlotte Observer published an article about these investment companies and how they are pricing out families from owning homes. And while many of those cases mentioned in the article are for the quick flip and profit. The same thing is happening with people running Airbnbs. Whether it is just keeping a home for the extra income instead of selling when looking to move. Or purchasing properties with the intent of doing short-term rentals. It’s all a huge portion of the rising housing costs in Charlotte and across the country. But have you ever wondered just how many Airbnbs there are in Charlotte?
Well, the user u/clinton-dix-pix on Reddit took the time to create a map showing the amount of whole house Airbnbs currently in Charlotte. And seeing it visually startling, to say the least. I have to ask if the demand is really there for all of these. But if basic economics and supply and demand can be trusted, there must be a market.
The post prompted much discussion on the forum including whether or not Charlotte should do something to limit the number of short-term rentals. This could be done in multiple ways either by HOAs and neighborhoods or by a city or county ordinance. One Reddit user u/ThirtyAcresIsEnough wrote “Wow!! I know other cities in NC are limiting Airbnb, it is time we do the same. We have to decide what we want as a community.” I too am personally 100% in favor of limiting these. The market is clearly saturated with them, and it’s negatively impacting our neighbors. I also personally think while Airbnb was a good option initially, it’s gotten out of hand. The “cleaning fees” that often make the nightly rate double and leave you a list of your own cleaning you are required to do was the final straw for me.
I’d rather pay the same or similar price, have housekeeping, a front desk to assist, luggage carts, and not be in someone’s house that they could get in at any point in time. The Reddit discussion indicates others feel this same way. “The cleaning fees at some ab&b’s are ridiculously inflated. Places even have to-do lists before you leave, like take out the trash and straighten up. At a certain point, might as well stay at a hotel”, one user wrote. Another said “Over the summer we tried to do a weekend getaway, I was completely frustrated by the people who lure in the clicks by saying $89 a night! But then the cleaning fee is $300 and they have two pages worth of cleaning instructions.”
I’ll stick with the Hilton or heck even the Day’s Inn. But you do you. Regardless, something needs to be done to real in the housing market. And this map certainly makes a case that regulating short-term rentals might be the way to do it.