Data shows that Airbnb units in the boroughs of New York City do not significantly affect key performance indicators of hotels.
By Claudia Alvarado, Steve Hennis, Jessica Haywood
Editor’s note: This is the third part of an analysis series conducted by STR on Airbnb data in New York City. Airbnb provided STR with data on its operations in the New York City market—the largest data set Airbnb has provided to a third-party for independent analysis. Airbnb's data included only aggregate daily metrics; no host-level or other individually identifiable information was shared. STR was not remunerated in any way for its analysis, and its participation in this analysis was not contingent upon developing or reporting predetermined results. STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.
- Read Part One of STR’s analysis of Airbnb’s minor effect on Manhattan demand.
- Read Part Two of STR’s analysis of Airbnb’s impact on Manhattan compression.
Manhattan contains 84.5% of all hotel rooms and 55.1% of all Airbnb units in the New York City market. The second largest borough for hotels and Airbnb differs. Queens has the second most hotel rooms with 10.4% of New York City hotel supply. By contrast, Brooklyn is Airbnb’s second largest borough, containing 36.7% of all Airbnb units in the city. The number of Airbnb units in Brooklyn outnumbers hotel rooms.
Airbnb makes up nearly 59% of all roomnights available (Airbnb plus hotels) in Brooklyn, which is up from 53% in 2014. Airbnb’s share of roomnights sold and room revenue in Brooklyn is not as significant as supply but both are growing. In Queens and Staten Island, Airbnb’s share has increased the most of any New York borough. In both boroughs, Airbnb’s share of demand and revenue has doubled year over year.
In general, Airbnb units are about half as full as hotel rooms. However, occupancy in Airbnb units is increasing, particularly in the boroughs where hotel supply is more limited. Airbnb saw the Bronx’s occupancy increase 22% and Staten Island’s grow 11%. The remaining three boroughs experienced Airbnb occupancy growth of about 6% year over year. Conversely, hotel occupancy growth ranged from -4% (Staten Island) to +2.7% (Queens). However, as indicated in the chart above, hotels are generally full, so expecting growth at the same rate experienced by Airbnb is unrealistic.
The occupancy chart above shows how Airbnb occupancy follows a similar seasonal pattern to that of hotels but with a one-month lag. Also, hotels experience less volatility in monthly occupancy. The chart illustrates that in spite of the substantial growth in Airbnb supply, hotels have been able to sustain high levels of occupancy. The correlation between hotel and Airbnb occupancy is 0.64, when one might expect those numbers to be in perfect synchronization.
In terms of rate, hotels in each of the boroughs achieved rates that were between 47% and 62% higher than Airbnb units. While Airbnb experienced more occupancy growth than hotels last year, rate growth for both Airbnb and hotels was flat. Queens, which was the exception, saw rate growth of 3% in hotels and 4% for Airbnb units.
The table above details the correlations between Airbnb metrics and hotel performance. The strongest correlation is between hotel average daily rate and Airbnb’s demand and revenue (0.81 and 0.80, respectively). This could indicate that as hotels increase their room rates, Airbnb benefits by capturing more price-sensitive demand. However, there are obvious confounding factors here. High-demand nights in New York City likely drive higher rates in hotels as they fill up, as well as Airbnb properties achieving higher roomnights sold.
The data suggests that Airbnb might be filling a void in the New York City market by providing a different lodging option at a much lower price point. While it is difficult to deny that some demand might be moving from hotels to Airbnb, it’s also difficult to deny that Airbnb is not generating incremental new demand.