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Airbnb Launches Calculator to Help Pay The Rent

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Yesterday, as part of the White House’s Opportunity Project initiative to make tech a more useful resource for individuals and communities, Airbnb unveiled its Housing Opportunity Calculator, a tool that calculates the percentage of rent that can be covered in zip codes around the country by renting out a spare room on Airbnb.

Airbnb has always touted itself as an easy source of income — which could ring true in cities and communities that haven’t passed punitive laws in reaction to the service. The company has also recently put more effort toward making their service more inclusive and reflective of the diverse demographics of the DC area.

Now, the Housing Opportunity Calculator seeks to put Airbnb’s money where its mouth is by comparing the average nightly revenue for Airbnb rooms in each zip code to the market rental rate for a two-bedroom in those areas. According to Airbnb, typical hosts rent out a room or home for 66 days of the year, and earn an $7,350 annually.

UrbanTurf used the tool to look at a representative sample of zip codes in DC proper to see how much hosts could potentially see their rent payments reduced by offering a room on Airbnb.

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Percentage of rent covered by Airbnb per zip code

Before looking at these numbers, we should note that from UrbanTurf’s perspective, the median rent for a two-bedroom provided by Airbnb looks low in many of these zip codes.

The numbers suggest that an Airbnb host would have to live in an area that is both trendy and reasonably-priced in order to maximize the additional stream of income. For example, hosts in the 20002 zip code, which includes parts of Northeast from NoMA to Carver-Langston, may not command the most revenue per night, but Airbnb earnings cover the largest portion of rent out of the examined areas.

Meanwhile, hosts in the 20015 zip code earn one of the lower nightly rates and make the smallest dent in their rental payments — despite the two-bedroom market rate there being surpassed by that of other neighborhoods. And in Anacostia’s 20020 zip code, low market rents can make an Airbnb rental extremely worthwhile despite low nightly rates.

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Percentage of rent covered by Airbnb per zip code

Airbnb’s market rate data is based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2017 Small Area Fair Market Rent for two bedroom apartments. Their criteria only accounts for already-occupied units that were not built within the last two years, so apartments under rent-control or with long-time occupants could also skew the numbers somewhat.

See other articles related to: airbnb dc, airbnb

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/airbnb_wants_to_help_you_pay_your_rent/11764

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