Report: Airbnb rates increase

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A new report accuses Boston Airbnb hosts of increasing prices as much as $1,900 if you are wanting a shtelter for the Boston Marathon, even so the short-term rental website claims authors are biased and cherry-picked atypical listings.

The report by AirbnbWATCH claims a rental in downtown Boston, which can be normally rented for $77 per night, was listed at $2,000 per night for your weekend before the April 16 marathon.

A condominium that typically rented for $119 per night also was listed at $2,000 nightly for the same weekend, the audience said, while a condo that ordinarily rented for $89 per night was listed at $1,200.

“Information during this report not merely dismiss Airbnb’s false claims their particular hosts don’t price gouge, and showcase his or her bad actors aren’t true home sharers; they’re commercial Airbnb hosts who will be running de facto hotels, disrupting communities, and taking housing stock heli-copter flight industry for long-term residents,” AirbnbWATCH spokeswoman Lauren Windsor wrote in the email.

City Councilor Lydia Edwards, who represents the North End, Charlestown and East Boston, said, “This type of price-gouging is precisely why we want to regulate Airbnb and at the same time balance the interests of individuals who are only looking to pay their mortgage” by renting out a bedroom as well as apartment into their home for so few time periods.

Airbnb spokeswoman Crystal Davis countered how the median nightly price the past three marathons ranged from $120 in 2015 to $130 in 2016 and 2017.

“Nine times out from 10,” she said, the accommodations AirbnbWATCH cited are not booked because “in relation to major events along these lines, we usually see a substantial influx of listings. This creates competition on our platform.”

Davis also claimed that AirbnbWATCH, which describes itself being an “affordable-housing advocate and consumer watchdog group,” is really funded by way of the hotel industry — a compensation claim that Windsor may not address.

Ford Cavallari, chairman from the Alliance of Downtown Civic Organizations, stated that most of the price-gouging is done by investors and corporations that “grab up a lot of apartments and formulate fake hotels without the security, safety, sanitation and supervision of real ones.”

The City Council is weighing a citywide ordinance, filed in January by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, which would regulate short-term rentals and limit those by nonresident landlords.

 

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