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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Homesharing and London’s housing market

London’s housing crisis is the result of failure to build enough homes to keep pace with growing demand. Rising unaffordability is the result, with many families priced out of the market. At the same time, tourism in the capital is booming, with a record 31.5 million visitors in 2015 alone. This has helped to drive up the use of homesharing platforms, which provide accommodation within Londoners’ own homes.

Using data from Airbnb – the capital’s biggest homesharing website – we have assessed the impact of homesharing activity on London’s housing market. Our analysis, the first of its kind to use actual bookings data, finds that homesharing’s impact on housing supply in London is currently negligible.

Research by Airbnb suggests that homesharing makes positive contributions to London’s economy, and this view has been supported by the government. This report argues that enforcement of existing rules must be prioritised, so that support for the sector can be provided in such a way that helps the capital to succeed and thrive – as well as to remain a good place for its residents to call home.