Misuse through short-term rentals on the Berlin housing market

Philipp Schäfer (IREBS, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)
Nicole Braun (IREBS, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis

ISSN: 1753-8270

Publication date: 6 June 2016



Short-term rentals are mainly of small flats, which are offered to tourists. Currently, the providers of short-term rentals, in particular Airbnb (ABB), are being criticized in several German cities, on the grounds that shares of residential flats are being removed from the housing market, due to illegitimate misuse as tourist accommodation. Thus, the conventional urban housing markets are contending with a decline in housing supply and increasing rents. This paper aims to support these findings empirically.


The paper opted first for a spatial analysis with ArcGIS for ABB in Berlin. Second, different online data requests of periods of up to two months were used to analyze the extent of misuse with regard to the Zweckentfremdungsverbot (misuse prohibition law). Third, analysis of variance was used to analyze rental growth on the ABB markets. The data were collected in different approaches from the website of airbnb.com.


The paper provides evidence that 5,555 residential flats are presently being misused by ABB (0.30 per cent of the total housing stock in Berlin) and that many providers of entire flats have more than one offer simultaneously. Moreover, the paper provides the first entire-market overview of ABB in Berlin. It is evident that the ABB market is mainly located centrally and that only a few neighborhoods have large ABB markets. Rental growth is higher in the ABB markets which have a significant share of misused flats, than in the ABB markets which have insignificant shares of misused flats.


To the authors’ best knowledge, the paper provides the first empirical approach regarding misuse through short-term rentals on a housing market with an innovative design and first-hand data.



Schäfer, P. and Braun, N. (2016), "Misuse through short-term rentals on the Berlin housing market", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 287-311. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHMA-05-2015-0023

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