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Airbnb ruling could make more homes available

Posted: 5:24 PM, Jul 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-18 00:39:03Z

Short-term vacation rental hosts across San Diego could soon be faced with a decision - do they sell their properties, or rent them on the open market?

It's a question many are now asking after the City Council decided on Monday to ban vacation rentals of properties where the owner does not live.   

"I am completely stunned," said Donna McLoughlin, who rents out five bungalows in Hillcrest on Airbnb for about $150 a night. "You do make a lot more money using them for short-term rentals, and because of the investment I've made in the property, I want to make sure I have the highest and best return."

The city's ordinance still has to go before the Coastal Commission, and isn't scheduled to take effect until July 2019. 

A recent study by Host Compliance found about 11,000 short-term vacation rentals in the city of San Diego, with about 80 percent of them whole home. It's unclear how many of those are second residences, which are the ones the city would block from being rented to vacationers. 

Nathan Moeder, principal with real-estate analytical firm London Moedor Advisors, said even upwards of 10,000 homes coming onto the market would not significantly lower prices in supply crunched San Diego. 

"We need about 12,000 units a year just to keep going, and we're in the hole about 20,000 or 30,000 since the last recession," he said. "So even if all of them hit the market at once, it's not enough to make a big impact."

McLoughlin said if she must, she would rent out her bungalows long term. 

A Coastal Commission spokeswoman said the agency would like to weigh the plan in San Diego. Its next meeting here is in October.