There are some 5,000 to 7,000 Tel Aviv apartments that are rented out on a permanent basis via Airbnb and are thus unavailable to residents, a report, in Hebrew, by Yes In My Back Yard Tel Aviv (YIMBYTLV) shows.
YIMBYTLV is a movement that aims to fight rising prices of housing in Tel Aviv and advance regulation against homes that have been transformed into hotels.
Around 2.4 percent of the homes in the city have become permanent Airbnb rentals, a figure that is five times higher than in New York and 12 times that of Berlin, the report said. In some quarters, the situation is even worse, with Airbnb permanent rentals taking up 16% of all apartments in Kerem HaTeimanim, a neighborhood in central Tel Aviv that is undergoing gentrification, and 8% of all apartments in Neve Tzedek, a fashionable and expensive neighborhood in southwestern Tel Aviv.
Most of the apartments rented out permanently via Airbnb are two to three rooms. Since they are not available for regular rental, prices go up in accordance with a shrinking supply, YIMBYTLV said.
YIMBYTLV suggests limiting the number of days that apartments in the center and south of the city can rented out via the vacation rental operator to 60 per year, to deter investors who buy apartments and then rent them only to tourists rather than residents.
Efforts by the Tel Aviv Municipality to deter such investors by raising taxes on homes rented out via Airbnb have not been effective, as returns continue to be very lucrative — some 40% higher than if the apartments were rented out to residents, even after the higher taxes, the report said.