A majority of homeowners would consider renting out their current home on a short-term basis rather than selling it in the current market.
That’s according to a survey released Thursday by Realtor.com and CensusWide, which included responses from 2,000 homeowners. They found that 60% of respondents would consider renting their current home versus selling if or when they decide to buy or rent a home somewhere else. The survey was conducted online in July 2023.
Some 23% of respondents had rented out their home before or planned to rent out part of their home out in the future. An additional 16% of respondents said they would consider doing that.
“With the 30-year mortgage rate at over 7%, many homeowners are reluctant to sell.”
With the 30-year mortgage rate at over 7%, many homeowners are reluctant to sell. Short-term rentals are a way of earning extra cash and, for those who can afford it, of holding onto their home should they decide to move to a new place.
The company released the survey in conjunction with the launch of a new tool on Realtor.com that allows users to see estimates of short-term-rental income from Airbnb
Homeowners can look at potential earnings estimates for hosting their whole house or even one room. The estimated earnings for a seven-day rental are based on Airbnb data from similar listings in the same zip code, Realtor.com said.
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Cities like New York are tightening short-term rental laws
Recent legislation may complicate homeowners’ plans to try their hand at short-term renting, however. In New York, a new ordinance that went into effect Sept. 5 requires all short-term-rental hosts to be registered with the city, live in the place they are renting, be present when renters are staying and have a maximum of two guests.
The new rules will likely eliminate many Airbnb listings in New York. Airbnb filed a lawsuit against the city in June, calling the rules a “de facto ban against short-term rentals in New York City,” per court documents. A judge dismissed the case in August.
Airbnb called the new rules “extreme and oppressive.” In a statement released to Associated Press, the company said the city’s new rules “appear intended to drive the short-term rental trade out of New York City once and for all.”
The total number of Airbnb listings in the city could fall by 70%, according to an estimate from Skift.
Other cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, have limits on how many properties one person may rent out on a short-term basis. In Los Angeles, hosts may only rent their primary residence on a short-term basis, and only for up to 120 days per calendar year.
Financial considerations for renting rather than selling
Financial considerations were a key reason homeowners told Realtor.com they would choose to rent out their homes instead of selling them, with 21% saying they would like to earn extra income from renting and 19% saying they would rather rent their home out in order to maintain the equity they had built.
Homeowners also had specific plans for that extra income: A third said they wanted to pursue the short-term rental route to earn extra income that they would save toward buying another home with a higher mortgage rate; 29% said they wanted to be prepared in the event that their adjustable-rate mortgage payments increased in the future; and 21% said they wanted the income to help pay for their current mortgage.