Using webscraping and GIS spatial analysis, Dr. Junfeng Jiao and Dr. Jake Weggman explored the spatial characteristics of Airbnb rentals in Austin, Boston, Chicago, DC, and San Francisco. The file you will find here is the technical report related to this study.
Urban vacation rentals have surged in US cities. This new and largely extralegal phenomenon raises concerns about effects on housing markets and quality of life. In this study, we use scraped data from Airbnb’s website in five cities to compile descriptive statistics of vacation rental listings, and to examine their geographic patterns. Our results suggest that listings are highly unevenly distributed. The prominence of commercially-oriented hosts raises questions about possible rent-seeking behavior in the coming wave of regulatory efforts by cities to grapple with urban vacation rentals. Finally, our results are suggestive of racial disparities in this emerging economy.