Prior to the onset of the pandemic, evidence on the conversion of regular rental housing into permanent holiday homes has fuelled concerns that Airbnb and other short-term rentals contribute to the shortage of affordable homes and to the displacement of regular residents in cities with high housing demand. When the pandemic set in, the media was quick to speculate that holiday homes would be returned to the regular rental market. This paper provides some theoretical reflections on the factors that are driving and impeding such a development and presents preliminary results from an ongoing research project that empirically traces the impacts of COVID-19 on the rental housing market based on an analysis of real estate listings in four large Austrian cities. We argue that a current shift to the regular rental market is likely, but that the medium- and long-term development is uncertain. Empirically, we demonstrate that such a shift has occurred in all four cities considered. We do not find evidence, however, that the increased rental housing supply has dampened rent levels.

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Author: Justin Kadi, Antonia Schneider, Roman Seidl
Document Type: article
ISSN: 2336-2839
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Pages: 47-57
DOI code: 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.514
Date of publication: 23.11.2020

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