Myths and Misconceptions of Short Term Rentals

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

AirBnB and the other platforms as well as local vacation rental companies have propagated misinformation about short term rentals. For example, STRs are an integral part of the sharing economy. That was true for the first couple of years of AirBnB's existence; however for the last 8-10 years, AirBnB's growth has been facilitated by the investor community. Also, the idea has been fostered by the platforms that the "sharing economy" is promoting non-traditional tourist areas, but as can been seen below, the map clearly shows that the greatest concentration of STRs is in traditional tourist areas in the beaches and in the downtown areas. The high STR concentrations are driven by high investor ROI. Also, there is a myth that if STRs were banned from San Diego, the City would lose substantial revenues. WRONG! Studies from academia have shown that only 4 percent of those STR visitors would not come to San Diego. Forty-five to fifty percent would come and stay in hotels. Some would stay with relatives and others would find a wide range of ways to stay in San Diego, still spending many dollars for restaurants and tourist attractions.

In the meantime, the housing stock in the areas with the highest concentrations of STRs are the most sought after by qualified long term renters, and there are many. These are graduates from local, nationally recognized universities and retiring military personnel. Again, the City, specifically the mayor, has failed to put residents ahead of investors and visitors.

Mission Beach is a microcosm of what is happening in San Diego, with about thirteen percent of the total number of STR listings. Mission Beach is not the canary in the mine shaft; Mission Beach is though a unique situation with a large number of non-resident investors buying properties, forcing out long term renters and converting them to STRs.

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