Housing Affordability Impacts of Airbnb in Portland

Authors: Mike Wilkerson, Lorelei Juntunen, Emily Picha, and Tina Morgan (from ECONorthwest)
Date Published: Fall 2016
Research commissioned by: Airbnb

Why we select this research?

There is no to very little independent research available on the impact of accommodation sharing on housing prices. This ECONorthwest, Airbnb commissioned report provides some insights on the situation in Portland. A potential weakness of the report is the fact that it is based entirely on data released by to ECONorthwest Airbnb.

Key findings:

The results of the analysis shows that Airbnb’s activities in Portland do little to worsen our current affordability crisis. If all of Airbnb’s entire home unit hosts were to suddenly decide to stop renting on Airbnb, it would do very little, if anything, to affect the trends that are driving rising rents. This analysis, conducted by Airbnb, points to ways in which Airbnb relates to
long-term affordability goals:

  • Lodging tax revenues can help to fund affordable housing. 
  • Short-term rentals provide income and housing security to many hosts.
  • Portland’s neighborhood business districts benefit from the spending from short-term rental guests. 
  • Housing market dynamics are more complex than Airbnb.
  • Short-term rental units can help to spur the creation of infill development.


Wilkerson, M., Juntunen, L., Picha, E. & T. Morgan (2016). Housing Affordability Impacts of Airbnb in Portland. Retrieved from: https://www.airbnbaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PDXAirbnbAffordability10-19-2016-FNL-2.pdf