Airbnb is taking rural villages by storm

Located in several rural villages in Quebec, popular with visitors from here and elsewhere who The short-term rental platform Airbnb has reduced the number of accommodations Tenants who want to live there longer term are available and lead to rent increases. Game Status.

In recent years, much has been said about the inconvenience caused by the presence of Airbnb accommodation in Montreal. However, the share of the rental market captured by this platform is significantly higher in dozens of villages located in the Charlevoix, Laurentides and Estrie regions, among others, than in the metropolis, according to unpublished data from Inside Airbnb website, received from The duty. These only count short-term accommodation for rent on this platform and therefore do not take into account the competitors such as Sonder and Vrbo.

The metropolis has almost 9,000 entire apartments rented out on Airbnb, ie around 1% of its rental stock. This proportion is almost 38% in the small idyllic commune of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François in Charlevoix, almost 16% in L’Anse-Saint-Jean in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and around 11% in Mont -Tremblant, in the Laurentians.

“It’s very worrying because there is a low-income population that lives year-round in these communities,” where the rental market is tight and rents are rising rapidly, stresses the spokesman for People’s Action Front in Urban Redevelopment (FRAPRU), in an interview. Veronique Laflamme.

The organization compared data from the Inside Airbnb website with data from Statistics Canada’s latest survey to assess the impact of short-term rentals from that platform on the rental market of all communities in the province. The duty received the results of this analysis a few days before April 1stah July.

The mayor of Baie-Saint-Paul, Michaël Pilote, is also aware of the fact that part of the rental housing in his city is being monopolized by this short-term rental platform. He points out that this situation occurs precisely at the moment when workers refuse offers in the catering and hotel sectors and even in the Baie-Saint-Paul hospital “because they cannot find accommodation”.

“Of course it’s worrying,” says the elected official in his late 20s, who “doesn’t want the quality of life of people living in the area to suffer because of tourism.” It therefore hopes to pass regulatory changes in the coming weeks that would result in limiting the number of permits that can be issued on its territory for this type of tourist accommodation, in addition to restricting the authorized areas. “We are in the process of being more stringent and limiting their presence on the territory,” supports Mr. Pilote, noting that the legislation introduced by Quebec to regulate short-term rentals has “few teeth”.

“What we’re seeing is that the current rules aren’t stopping investors from making one business ” also underlines Véronique Laflamme, who calls for a total ban on Airbnb-like rentals in areas where the vacancy rate for rental apartments has fallen below 3%.

High rent

An analysis performed by The duty Apartments offered for long-term rent on the Kijiji site also show that the average rent for four-and-a-half in four Quebec Regional County Municipalities (RCM) is higher than in Montreal. It exceeds $1,500 per month in two MRCs in the Laurentians and reaches $1,492 in that of Fjord-du-Saguenay, sectors with several holiday villages. This average rent is $1425 on the island of Montreal.

“Knowing that you can make a lot of money from Airbnb accommodation also helps drive rental prices up,” to the detriment of “local communities,” believes Mme The flame. This is particularly the case in Mont-Tremblant, where rents have become “exorbitant,” notes street worker Martin Légaré, who helps low-income and vulnerable people in the area.

“There are two classes in Mont-Tremblant: there are the poor and the rich,” says the man, who observes that the high-priced accommodations rented out on Airbnb in turn discourage many low-income renters from staying in this Laurentian community fits their financial situation.

“The housing shortage is huge, I have people on the street, people are doing couchsurfing by sleeping with friends because they don’t have any of their own, says Mr. Légaré. “If there was housing for welfare recipients that would be great, but they’ll take anything to do Airbnb. »

With Laurianne Croteau

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