A bit of couch surfing might be worth it if you live in a desirable part of Williamsburg. Or, if you own property, it might make more sense to rent it out on Airbnb than to try a single longterm renter, but that sure raises some questions about housing availability and supply and demand.
A new report from Bushwick mapping gurus CartoDB explores the Airbnbscape for every neighborhood in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“While Airbnb is very dense in the Upper East and Upper West Side of Manhattan, it is actually a significantly ‘low’ percentage of housing units in those neighborhoods,” the report says. “In contrast to that, the two Brooklyn clusters are much larger, with almost the entirety of Williamsburg and Greenpoint rented out on Airbnb at a high rate.”
And that’s because the UES and UWS are filled with high-rises while Williamsburg is filled with mid-rises and Greenpoint with barely uncondemned low-rise tenement row homes. (Seriously, Dorothea, could we paint the hallway?)
“We compare median Airbnb prices to median rent for every block,” the report continues:
We find that clusters of high profitability in Manhattan center around Chinatown, East Harlem, and Manhattan Valley just west of Central Park on the west side. These are neighborhoods where the median Airbnb listing costs 25% of median rent — in other words, to be able to pay your rent by renting on Airbnb just four days of the month is easily possible! Williamsburg was the only large high-profitability cluster in Brooklyn, with a median Airbnb listing able to pay median rent in just five days.
Now the problem with this is the problem people have been having with Airbnb for awhile: When you have a limited number of apartments in the supply column and the demand column remains high and then you take some of the rental units and turn them into hotels, you further reduce the supply of housing and so the price goes up.
And up, and up, and up.