Short-term rentals in Manchester – time to act?

Mon, 10 Jan 2022 15:55:00 GMT

A new report co-published by our Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) Lecturer Dr Luke Yates, for Greater Manchester Housing Action and Greater Manchester Tenants Union, 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 finds a threefold growth in Airbnb listings in Manchester between 2016 and 2020, and growth by nearly a factor of four 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.

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. It 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.

The research was undertaken by Dr Luke Yates (SCI, University of Manchester), Dr Jonathan Silver (University of Sheffield), Andrea Sandor, Isaac Rose and Rowena Davis.

To download a copy of the report, head here.