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    A Snapshot of Atlanta's Airbnb Listings Raises Questions about Regulation and Affordability

    Atlanta, Georgia, has a new short-term rental ordinance driven by concerns about community impacts like party houses, while worries that multi-property owners might be shut out of the market have suspended its enforcement. A SaportaReport/Atlanta Civic Circle snapshot of Atlanta Airbnb listings for June raises issues about overlooked variables. There were 4,300 listings on Airbnb, which approximately track with population density and tourist draws, with the biggest concentrations in Midtown, Old Fourth Ward, and the Atlantic Station area; smaller clusters were located around Buckhead's Lenox Square and Lindbergh neighborhoods. Much of the city's urgency to regulate short-term rentals is fueled by bad behavior at residences that hold wild parties, but the map clusters reveal that many Airbnb sites are in apartment and condo towers, not single-family neighborhoods. Georgia State University Professor Keith Teltser said 51.4 percent of the lists were classified as apartments, and 56.4 percent of them were listed by owners offering only a single property, meaning they were most likely to be using rentals to supplement income rather than as a business. The implication is that Airbnb is in apartment towers having less-discussed effects on quality of life, rents, and renters' paying ability. According to Teltser, home prices and rents tended to rise because of new potential income, especially in areas where Airbnbs are clustered; yet indications of financial strain for homeowners—like foreclosure warnings—were less likely to lead to the loss of a home in such areas. That could be because owners can supplement their income with Airbnb rentals, or because they sold at a higher price and exited.

    SaportaReport (07/11/22) John Ruch

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