How has Airbnb in West Hollywood changed in a year?
In July 2015, the West Hollywood City Council reaffirmed and clarified “the existing prohibition of Short Term Rentals.” A year later, we wanted to check the status of short-term rentals. We focused on Airbnb in West Hollywood because we had data from Inside Airbnb, a third-party website. We lacked similar data for Airbnb competitors such as VRBO or HomeAway.
Number of active rental listings for Airbnb in West Hollywood
We chose to focus our analysis on listings that were clearly being actively rented out. We assumed a listing was “active” if a renter had posted a review in the prior six months.
By that definition, West Hollywood had about 450 active Airbnb listings as of May 2, 2016, versus about 350 on May 24, 2015. That’s an increase of 100 units in a year.
West Hollywood had fewer active listings than Santa Monica (500) and Hollywood (over 1,000). It had two to three times as many as Beverly Hills, Culver City, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods to the south (Beverly Grove and Fairfax).
Growth in active listings
The number of active listings in West Hollywood grew almost 30% from May 2015 to May 2016.
Many nearby areas experienced even higher growth. It was 75% in the Fairfax district, 70% in Beverly Hills, about 65% in Culver City and Beverly Grove, and about 50% in Hollywood. Across the region, active listings grew about 60%. Santa Monica stood out with a 12% decrease in active listings.
70% of the active listings in West Hollywood were for the whole unit, essentially unchanged from last May’s 69%. The whole units could have been houses, condos, or apartments. We don’t know how many of them were the host’s primary residence versus a second home or rental property. (“Host” is Airbnb’s term for the person listing the unit).
The whole-unit percentage was almost the same in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It was about 10 points lower in Culver City and almost 20 points lower in Santa Monica.
Multiple listings from the same host
This May, 40% of the active West Hollywood listings came from hosts with multiple listings. Last May, it was 37%. We assume hosts with multiple listings are more likely to be professionals.
The West Hollywood host with the most listings had 19 in the Los Angeles area. If we look only at active listings, the West Hollywood host with the most had 16, spread across the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, and Hollywood. The host with the most active listings in West Hollywood alone had nine here.
The multiple-listing percentage was fairly similar in Culver City and Santa Monica. The percentage was 10 points higher (50%) in Beverly Hills, the Fairfax district, and the Los Angeles area as a whole. Hollywood stood out, with about 60% of active listings coming from hosts with multiple listings.
Multiple listings in the Los Angeles area versus other cities
We noticed differences in the multiple-listing percentage in Los Angeles versus other big cities. The differences suggest that professionals may be more prevalent in some cities.
In the Los Angeles area, multiple listings were 45% of all listings. Other California cities were lower: 28% in Oakland, 33% in San Francisco, and 42% in San Diego. It was 28% in New York and 38% in Chicago.
Daily rental rates varied widely in West Hollywood. For active whole-unit listings, they ran from $50 to $795. The typical (median) whole-unit rate was $140, virtually the same as last year. The unit could be a house, condo, or apartment.
For a room, the rate ranged between $38 and $199. The typical (median) rate was $79. That means half the rates were lower than $79 and half were higher. The median was $85 last May.
Rental days per year
We don’t know the actual number of rentals or rental days. Inside Airbnb estimated that, on average, listings in West Hollywood were rented for 95 days per year. Given that estimate, it seems likely that a significant number of active listings were rented out for more 90 days a year.
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