Short-Term Rentals: The Unseen Impact on College Town Housing Markets – BNN Breaking

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Short-Term Rentals: The Unseen Impact on College Town Housing Markets

The rise of short-term rentals in college towns, driven by affluent college sports fans and investors, is reshaping local housing markets. These investors convert residential properties into temporary lodging facilities during sports seasons or major events, leaving them vacant for the rest of the year. This trend exacerbates housing shortages for permanent residents and highlights broader concerns about housing availability and affordability in communities with high seasonal demand.

Athens, Georgia: A Case in Point

In Athens, Georgia, the situation is vividly illustrated by the example of Rashe Malcolm and her family. The high cost of rent in Athens prevents her adult son and his girlfriend from moving out of the family home. With rental prices for new one-bedroom units averaging $2,100, the affordability crisis is palpable.

The Impact of Short-Term Rentals

The disruption caused by short-term rental sites like Airbnb goes beyond individual families. It has turned housing into a commodity, forcing out the people who built the community. In the book ‘Homesick,’ this conflict is explored in depth, revealing an economy of contradictions in three western mountain towns.

A Possible Blueprint for Change

‘Homesick’ connects modern trends with US history and suggests a blueprint for change. It urges a move away from treating housing as a commodity and towards a model where housing is valued as a community resource. This shift could potentially alleviate the pressures caused by short-term rentals on local housing markets and improve housing availability and affordability for permanent residents.

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