Concerns raised over ‘out of control’ Airbnb expansion

Concerns have been raised about the "out of control" expansion of short-term rental properties as research suggested some areas have one Airbnb listing for every four properties.

Edinburgh's Old Town has 29 active listings on the website per 100 properties, Skye had 25 for every 100 places, and high concentrations were also found in Wollacombe, Georgeham and Croyde in Devon.

The accommodation marketplace questioned the figures from the Guardian and said listings may not always affect availability of local housing stock.

The newspaper said it cross-referenced 250,000 listings on Airbnb with Government figures on housing stock, finding there were 0.8 for every 100 homes.

Dan Wilson Craw, director of housing pressure group Generation Rent, told the paper: "The unchecked growth of online holiday lettings is depriving communities of much-needed homes.

"In rural areas and cities alike, the story is the same: young adults can't afford to settle down in the areas they grew up in."

Authorities in Scotland will be able to bring in licensing schemes for short-term rents from 2021, and local authorities will be able to designate new control areas for short-term lets, with those wanting to let out properties in this way first having to obtain planning permission.

Telling the Guardian that Airbnb is part of the problem, Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman said: "The growth in short-term lets is out of control in Edinburgh and of increasing concern across Scotland."

Airbnb told the paper that its findings were based on "unreliable scraped data and flawed methodology".

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