Miami Is Now One of Airbnb's Top Five American Markets

Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Brian Chesky.
Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Brian Chesky.
Courtesy of Airbnb

Thousands of hotel rooms are scheduled to come on the market in the next few years in already-hotel-heavy Miami, but hotels are no longer the only choice tourists have for lodging. Airbnb has shaken up the market by allowing people to directly lease their homes out as short-term vacation rentals, and the service has become increasingly popular in Miami. In fact, between October 2014 and September 2015, Airbnb made 55 percent of its American revenue in just five markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and Boston. The service is expected to grow in Miami, according to a new analysis from CBRE Hotels

While the development could affect Miami's hotel industry, it also has implications for Miami's already-expensive apartment rental market. 

There are about 5,199 active Airbnb units with an average of 1.4 bedrooms in Miami. That's a small supply compared to the 51,498 hotel rooms on the market. However, the 10 percent share of Airbnb units is the fourth-highest of any city, behind only New York, L.A. and San Fran. 

For the year ending in September 2015, Airbnb units brought in just under $100,000 in revenue in Miami, or just about 3.5 percent of total hotel revenues. 

One of the concerns about Airbnb is that it allows landlords who have multiple units to rent them out as vacation rentals instead of traditional rental apartments, thus potentially lowering the supply of affordable housing and raising rent. In Miami, 19 percent of Airbnb units are owned by someone who owns at least two other units. In New York City, that number is just 7 percent.

In fact, 62 percent of revenue in Miami is generated by landlords who offer three or more units, the highest of any market in the nation. 

This despite the fact that Airbnb is limited in many areas of Miami-Dade by laws. In Miami Beach, for example, single-family homes are not allowed to be rented out as short-term vacation rentals. Only condos and apartments in specified zones can be rented out legally on Airbnb in Miami Beach. Airbnb hosts in Miami Beach most also register and pay room taxes on their profits. In the City of Miami, zoning laws allow only short-term rentals in certain areas. 

Bay Harbor Islands, Bal Harbour, and Surfside outlaw short-term rentals. 

The State of Florida and Miami-Dade County levy taxes on short-term rentals as well. 


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