Are Airbnbs Good for a Neighborhood?

Short-term rental properties are popping up in more neighborhoods across the country as homeowners look to cash in on an extra income stream. But is an Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, or other short-term rental good for a thriving neighborhood?

The STR industry has posted significant growth over the last five years. Airbnb, as of October 2018, reported more than 5 million hosts and $2.7 billion in profit. But property owners recently surveyed by, a home remodeling website, are mixed on whether they’d rent out their own home and how well they like the idea of their neighbors doing the same.

Property owners who use short-term rentals themselves on vacations tend to be more in favor of having them in their own neighborhood than those who’ve never used such services, according to’s survey of 990 respondents. Nearly 48% of those who have stayed in short-term rentals say they approve of them in their neighborhood, while nearly 28% are against it. But for those who have never stayed in a short-term rental, only 22% approve of one in their own neighborhood, and nearly 47% oppose the idea.

The following chart shows some of the top gripes about short-term rentals in a neighborhood:


Of those surveyed, homeowners older than 50 were nearly twice as likely as owners younger than 50 to worry about short-term rental issues, such as noise from parties. Millennials tend to be the most open to short-term rentals in their neighborhood—and even hosting them in their own home, the survey found.

Overall, most homeowners say they aren’t entertaining the idea of offering their own property as a short-term rental. Nearly 70% of respondents say they would not do it for their own home, while a quarter of respondents say they have thought about it. Only 4% say they already have hosted a short-term rental.

Many homeowners—nearly 48%—say they aren’t sure if short-term rentals are already occurring in their neighborhood. For those who are aware of short-term rentals in their neighborhood, half say their experiences have been positive. Many states have passed laws regarding short-term rentals, with some banning them outright in suburban neighborhoods due to fears of disruption.

Source: “Do Short-Term Renters Make Good Neighbors?” (July 2019)