19 January 2022

New report tracks impact of short-term lets in Manchester neighbourhoods

Research summarised in a new report that raises concerns about the proliferation of Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms (STLs) in the city and its effects on local residents.

Airbnb
"Airbnb" by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine is licensed under CC0 1.0

Research undertaken Dr Jonathan Silver and his colleague’s Dr Luke Yates (University of Manchester), (University of Sheffield), Andrea Sandor, Isaac Rose and Rowena Davis has been summarised in a new report that raises concerns about the proliferation of Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms (STLs) in the city and its effects on local residents.

 The report “Short Term Rentals in Manchester: Time To Act” written by academics, journalists and members of Greater Manchester Tenants Union and Greater Manchester Housing Action, finds a year on year growth rate of over 300% in Airbnb listings in Manchester between 2016 and 2020, and of nearly 400% for entire properties. 

 Figures suggested if pre-pandemic growth trends continued at the same level they had for the previous four-year period, Manchester would lose huge chunks of its housing stock to short-term lets.

 By the end of the decade the transfer of long term rental properties into the short term sector might shut out over 4,000 households or 9,400 residents. With more than 13,000 households on the social housing waiting list home sharing platforms such as Airbnb will massively exacerbate the housing crisis.

 It focuses its analysis on the neighbourhoods of Moss Side and the Northern Quarter, showing that the problems of anti-social behaviour and disruption to neighbours exist in increasing numbers outside of the city centre and are leading to the loss of family homes.

 While so far Manchester has treated the problem of STLs only in terms of impacts of anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood disruption; the report links these issues with the broader impact that short-term lets is having on our housing market, with the housing available to short-term visitors already greater than Manchester's priority social housing list.

 The report notes the increasing domination of Airbnb by professional landlords and agencies which manage properties on behalf of landlords, rather than 'hosts' renting out spare rooms. Twelve such 'management services' exist in the city.

 The report highlights how the short term letting market is removing housing from the stock available to local people to buy or rent, and orientating it towards the tourist or short-stay market.

 The research calls for greater regulation of the short term rental market, and for the Council to fully engage with affected communities.

 To download the full report – https://tenantsunion.org.uk/downloads/AirBnB-Report-Dec-21-2021.pdf

 Read the news article in Meteor: Manchester’s Independent Media -https://themeteor.org/2021/12/21/airbnb-manchester/

An opinion piece has also been produced for Tribune Magazine: The Airbnb assault on Manchester - https://tribunemag.co.uk/2021/12/manchester-housing-airbnb-landlord-report-local-government

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