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I've said this before, and I'll say it again. AirBNB is a blight on rural areas (I can speak to this because I reside in rural Scotland) where affordable rental properties are simply disappearing from the market. These properties are barely fully booked during the summer months or holiday/peak seasons, and are empty for weeks at a time in the winter and off-seasons.

This is such a waste and hugely frustrating for folks who live and work in these communities trying to find accomodation.




If the price has gone up so much, there's a financial incentive to build more until supply matches demand and prices drop to previous levels.

> These properties are barely fully booked during the summer months or holiday/peak seasons, and are empty for weeks at a time in the winter and off-seasons.

> This is such a waste and hugely frustrating for folks who live and work in these communities trying to find accomodation.

A lot of people get a lot of joy out of holidaying somewhere like Scotland in the summer. When there are limited houses and a lot of people who want to use them, there will always be winners and losers. Is it really so implausible that for a house in a scenic rural area, a succession of people renting it for a week or two each over the summer might end up getting more out of it (between them) than someone wanting to live and work in it for a whole year?


> Is it really so implausible that for a house in a scenic rural area, a succession of people renting it for a week or two each over the summer might end up getting more out of it (between them) than someone wanting to live and work in it for a whole year?

Are you really suggesting that just because you live and work in your local (scenic) rural community you couldn't possibly enjoy the surroundings just as much, if not more, than as a few fleeting transient warm bodies with suitcases could? As residents, we're quite proud of our village and surrounding rural lot and deeply care about and appreciate what we have.

Also, and ultimately, it's the local permanent residents that sustain, year round, the two pub/restaurants, the village shop and the assortment of plumber, electrician, carpenters (all of which also provide substantial local employment), not infrequent visitors occupying holiday homes that lie empty for 50% or more of the year.


> Are you really suggesting that just because you live and work in your local (scenic) rural community you couldn't possibly enjoy the surroundings just as much, if not more, than as a few fleeting transient warm bodies with suitcases could?

There's got to be diminishing returns on beautiful surroundings, surely - seeing a mountain for the hundredth or thousandth time can't compete with seeing it for the first time. So better to give dozens of people a chance to see it once than have a few people see it over and over again. (Or if someone really does want to see it over and over again, they can pay what it costs).

> Also, and ultimately, it's the local permanent residents that sustain, year round, the two pub/restaurants, the village shop and the assortment of plumber, electrician, carpenters (all of which also provide substantial local employment), not infrequent visitors occupying holiday homes that lie empty for 50% or more of the year.

Well if tourists are able to pay more for housing than permanent residents then they're probably also going to be spending more on meals out, more likely to want upgraded plumbing or electrics (or damage those in an unfamiliar house).... But assuming you're right, employment is a means to an end, not a goal in itself. If someone has their heart set on a career as a chef or shopkeeper or plumber or electrician or carpenter, good for them, but that doesn't mean they're entitled to do that job in a particularly picturesque place.


>There's got to be diminishing returns on beautiful surroundings, surely - seeing a mountain for the hundredth or thousandth time can't compete with seeing it for the first time. So better to give dozens of people a chance to see it once than have a few people see it over and over again. (Or if someone really does want to see it over and over again, they can pay what it costs).

lol Who let in the robot?


Sigh....I'm not even going to grace this comment with even a half thoughtful response.


> s residents, we're quite proud of our village

Obviously not, if all your neighbors are renting out their homes


Not sure if being a wee bit obtuse or I failed at detecting a smidgen of humour there.

Assuming you mean AirBNB lets, so of course not all my neighbours are renting out their homes as holiday lets.

If not, then why wouldn't medium to long term tenants also appreciate their village and local surroundings.


It's entirely possible the units are being bought by absentee investors rather than residents.


Assuming we're still talking about free markets, there are two solutions:

1) Build enough housing for everyone, tourists and locals alike. 2) Ban short-term rentals entirely.

Option 1 might alter the surroundings or vibes, but option 2 will destroy the tourist-dependent component of the local economy, which for many places IS the economy.


The end state of your efficient market fetish is that the lower classes will only be able to live in the least desirable areas, everywhere else will be reserved for the use of the richer classes.


The fact that there will always be winners and losers doesn't excuse the ethics or issues of winners winning more and losers losing more.


Exactly, which is what allocating housing in desirable places exclusively to those who already live there would do.


>> Is it really so implausible that for a house in a scenic rural area, a succession of people renting it for a week or two each over the summer might end up getting more out of it (between them) than someone wanting to live and work in it for a whole year?

Yes.


Agreed. And let's not forget that Airbnb isn't"the sharing economy", it's a website with images and text on it for landlords.

No innovation, just exploitation. Silicon valley.


I spent a winter in Tahoma, CA. I was one of about 10 people in town for months.


I want to point out that expensive rent in a rural area is different than expensive rent in an urban one. In a rural area, if it really comes down to it, people buy or rent a plot of land and throw a prefab home or trailer on it. In an urban area, you don't have a lot of options when rent goes up other than moving to a dangerous neighborhood or commuting from an inhumane distance.


> expensive rent in a rural area is different than expensive rent in an urban one

I fail to see the difference, maybe you could expand?

> In a rural area, if it really comes down to it, people buy

Folks are seeking affordable rents because affordable (and habitable) property to buy is pretty much non-existent.

> or rent a plot of land and throw a prefab home or trailer on it.

Perhaps in your country, good luck with getting away with that in the UK. We've got some fairly strict planning rules that make that kinda thing more or less impossible. Also "renting a plot of land" for this type of use isn't really a thing here.


We have Irish Travellers in the US, too, you know. They mainly stick to the east coast. Local police will publish warnings when they're coming through. They are likely the primary motivator for anti-caravan laws, the other being that caravans and trailer homes generally have negative curb appeal and depress nearby property values.

But "rural" in the US and "rural" in the UK are orders of magnitude apart. There are individual ranches in Texas larger than whole counties in the UK. The kinds of nomadic people that provoke anti-camping laws require a certain population density to support their lifestyle, so in the US, it's usually the NIMBYs that try to ban certain kinds of dwellings on other people's land. It's a question of how many people would even know something is there. If you never even see your mail carrier, you're not going to have a problem erecting any sort of building you want. But if you have neighbors that can see your dwelling from theirs, they will be interested in your private business.

So if you're in the middle of the wind farms and corn farms in northern Indiana, no one cares if you have a manufactured home on your land. If you're on undeveloped land just east of Denver, you can't even pitch a tent on your own property without a permit.


> Perhaps in your country...

Yes. That's what I was explaining. You can just do that in many rural areas of the U.S.

That's the big difference compared to urban development. You don't need billion dollar loans and a lobbying firm to add solve the problem on the supply side. It's very common for semi-retired middle class people to buy undeveloped land with good highway access, subdivide it, add some housing, and flip it.


Bah, UK is so small it’s easy to see how it can be a problem. America has so much land available out there, some of it is incredibly cheap the farther you are from civilization, even almost free. I think I could buy several rolling acres of land for a couple thousand bucks right now.


I can really only speak with experience with regards to Scotland here. The problem isn't that we don't have enough land to build on. The problem is that there are vast tracts of land owned by a few large estates (many of them owned by off-shored companies in the usual Caribbean tax havens) that will never normally be available for sale. The land is wasted and misused for the benefit of a few very rich folks who want to turn up and blow away pheasants and grouse with their shotguns.

The remaining available/eligible land is held by large house builders in their "land banks". Some of these tracts of land have been off the market for years and years, yet nothing ever gets built on them until the house builder decides the time is right to screw the maximum price out of buyers.

I'm kinda hoping that when Scotland does finally become independent we will solve these problems with radical land ownership reform.


Sounds like the situation is similar than to what a poster here is describing about NYC: AirBnB is taking away a tiny portion of housing, it matters a lot though because the government is making it hard to build because of zoning or similar constraints. We conclude it's easier to get rid of Airbnb than change what the government is doing although it's supposed to reorder us the people.


Do you guys have value based property tax, or is it a situation like California with prop 13? I've heard in the UK you just have council tax, which is more about the cost of providing services than the value of the piece of land.

Usually you deal with bad 'land hoarding' with a high enough property tax rate. And if you want to avoid effecting the old and the middle class, you add exemptions for primary residences.


We have two types of taxes:

Council Tax - a tax on residential properties. Properties fall into one of eight bands, A to H, where A is the least expensive and H is the most expensive. Your council tax bill is made up of the council tax itself which is the largest portion (goes to the council to pay for schools, libraries, street lights, etc). The remaining portion pays for water and sewerage.

Non Domestic Rates - businesses pay these. Water and sewerage are payable in addition. I don't know the ins and outs of how they're calculated.

Unfortunately land hoarding is an unresolved issue in the UK, there isn't as far as I know any penalty or charge - much of this land has no services or business activity so can't be taxed. There have been suggestions by some UK members of parliament that house builders should be forced into a "use it or lose it", thus far there's not been any official position from the government. I suspect the issue will be swept under the table until the next time the media hoves round and puts this back in the spotlight again.


Yeah in the US, almost all property tax is charged on a valuation basis. You pay %1-%2 per year based on the assessed value of your property. If you have a $10 million empty lot, you'll be paying $100k per year, and land hoarding tends to take care of itself fairly quickly in that situation.


> Bah, UK is so small it’s easy to see how it can be a problem.

It's considerably less built up than most people think [1-2]. The problem is that our planning laws do not realise that farmland is an ecological desert, and so we're not allowed to build on most of the UK, pushing the value of the little land that can be built on through the roof.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096

[2] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/constructio...


A couple thousand dollars isnt going to get you anything but a couple acres of desert wasteland in the US. You might get a nicer piece of land for $20,000 but the sort of places where land is that cheap are often very rural. 45 minute drives to the nearest medical care or supermarket, and if you're lucky, maybe electric utility hookups (water, sewer, internet? good luck).


A desert wasteland is still land nonetheless. Great for land collectors. Best part about very rural areas, you can drive really fucking fast.


Nooo. Trailers are the country ghetto. Unlike houses they are depreciating assets. So if you are fortunate enough to own your land and dwelling, unlike a home the value curve trends towards zero. The land value is the only asset, and doesn’t build much wealth.

Expensive rent in a rural area means people get pushed further away. In the medical practice that my mom worked at, employees commuted as far as 100 miles.


Housing structures don't (rarely) appreciate. In fact the opposite is true, as witnessed by my tax return each year.

The land as you state is a different story. I love the idea of a disposable trailer home I could replace every 20-30 years with new technology, unfortunately due to social attitudes prefab homes are almost exclusively marketed and built for lower incomes.


Isn't that the idea behind the tiny house? Upscale trailers?


Houses appreciate. Trailers do not. Trailers are like cars.

Sorry my comment was ambiguous


Houses depreciate. Land appreciates


Houses never (read: rarely - exceptional cases exist) appreciate. Period. Full stop.

The land itself does.


There are always exceptions, but houses generally do not appreciate. Much like a car, they become outdated and wear out. With enough time and use, they even become completely uninhabitable. Each passing day sees less and less value in the home as it requires more and more cost to bring back up to pristine condition and costs start to compete with the value of a brand new home.

Of course, if you keep your home in good repair and updated to modern standards, that will help retain value. But you're effectively selling a new home at that point, and the costs you have sunk into keeping in that way extend well beyond the original value.

Land value is where you normally find the appreciation. The trouble with trailers in a trailer park is that you do not own the land, so what you bear is entirely structure depreciation.


Maybe we should build/design houses more like commercial construction. Build the structural components of the house to last a long, calculated amount of time, then build the other pieces with the expectation that they'll be modified to keep the usability current.


> There are always exceptions, but houses generally do not appreciate. Much like a car, they become outdated and wear out.

Erm....have you seen what the property market is like in the UK. Most, if not all, property appreciates with little or no major expenditure.


In saying property you're presumably looking at the land value combined with the remaining value of the structure, not the value of structure alone? Typically they are not separate line items in a sale even though if you did separate them you would see that the land is generally appreciating and the house generally depreciating.

There are exceptions. Markets can do funny things from time to time, form irrational bubbles and whatnot. Even cars sometimes appreciate without any major repair or refurbishment costs. Tulips were once an appreciating asset, as the story goes. But as a rule, things that become outdated, wear out, and die lose value over time.


In the UK buyers generally just see the structure and pay for what they think its worth, they tend not to think about the land (and whatever value it might also have) it sits on. Perhaps the exception to this would be garden size if the property isn't a flat (apartment).

The reason for this is that it's pretty damned difficult to separate the two, especially physically. Planning laws generally discourage complete demolition of dwellings unless they're pretty much near collapse or there's been a fire that's gutted the place or in more extreme circumstances perhaps all or part of the house has fallen into a sink hole.

In the UK, residential property (the structure bit) is, and has for a long time now been seen as an appreciating asset/investment. As I already said earlier, property here, if lived in and sensibly maintained, isn't considered something that "wears out" like a car body.

It sounds like you're not from the UK so maybe all this is an alien concept.

Edit: I forgot to mention that things get a wee bit more complex, especially in England and Wales because whilst you might own the structure, it's quite common that don't own the land it sits on. This is known as a leasehold, as opposed to a freehold where you the purchaser own the land as well as the building. Buyers of properties that are leasehold purchase their dwelling (typically with a mortgage) but also pay an annual ground rent to the leaseholder by way of a very long term lease (say 99+ years). Once upon a time the ground rent on the lease hold used to be a nominal amount of money, say GBP100/year. However...capitalism being capitalism, it's becoming more common for leasehold ground rent to be seen by certain investment houses as a nifty way of getting paid for doing bugger all. This can and has caused annual ground rents to increase to quite piss-taking levels.

There are some attempts to get parliament to reform this leasehold situation after it was found that new-build housing estates were being sold to buyers on a leasehold basis but the leasehold condition is not made clear to purchasers. It's sneaky, and another way for house builders to extract another bundle of cash by selling off new-build estate leaseholds to some offshored company for a tidy sum leaving the buyers high and dry. It's often possible to buy out the leasehold, but even in the first year of ownership the cost can be prohibitive, especially after shelling out for your new house. It's not unheard of for leaseholders to charge say GBP5000-7000 in the first year and then double the cost each year afterwards, often locking buyers into the leasehold until they're able to sell the property. Then there's also problems and costs associated with renewing a leasehold, but that's a whole other expensive and morale sapping thing.


> It sounds like you're not from the UK so maybe all this is an alien concept.

You are right that I am not from the UK, so perhaps things are different (lots of room for local exceptions, as detailed in previous comments), but where I am from people compare the cost of a home against the cost of other homes, including the cost of buying vacant land and building a new home. The value of the land is implicitly considered because they see the actual value of land when looking at vacant lots and weigh their options.

Wear isn't the only consideration. An old home with low-amperage electricity service and nob and tube wiring that could burn down your home at any minute is less valuable than a home that is up to modern building standards. An old home with virtually no insulation is less valuable than a modern home that is airtight. These older features are more expensive to live with (higher insurance costs, higher energy costs, etc.) and the price has to reflect that. Same reason why a pristine car from the 80s is, in most cases (unless it has special collector value), still going to be worth less than a brand new model of equal original value in constant dollars.

To put it another way, I live in a rural area. The value of my property would be worth almost ten times more if the identical house was situated on land in the nearest major city. The value is the land and where that land is located, not the structure. The structure itself is, in this hypothetical example, identical. If we tore down the houses in both spots, the vacant lot in the major city would still be worth almost ten times more than my now-vacant lot. Houses can be moved – location is the value.

> As I already said earlier, property here, if lived in and sensibly maintained, isn't considered something that "wears out" like a car body.

Even on the timescale of centuries? I don't see many century homes that haven't required major and costly updates to be still usable today. I don't think anyone is suggesting that houses deprecate as quickly as cars.

There are exceptions. Price, of course, is still bound by supply and demand. There are reasons why used home structures may become scarce, while new homes are impossible to build, forcing people to compete for used homes. But this is not exactly typical.


> Even on the timescale of centuries?

Well....centuries depends on how many centuries and what revolutions, unrest and discord might arise :)

The village I live in (as were a few around this area), was completely razed to the ground during the 1715 Jacobite rebellion. So things kinda hard to start again and many of the houses in the core of the village were rebuilt between 1730'ish to the early 1800's. These old houses are highly valued, also the core village is also an architectural conservation area.

I could discuss this stuff forever but I need to get stuff done today :)


Sorry, that’s just incorrect.

Most value of residential property is in the structure. $/sqft of space is the metric, not the land plot.


Value is not the same as appreciation, which is what we're talking about. The value in a structure is the use one can expect to get from it over the next twenty years, or however long it takes to completely depreciate. GP is correct, especially so for 90% of homes built in rural areas in USA. These stick & drywall homes will have major problems within 50 years of construction, period. Many will require major fixes before then. Some homes in urban areas are built better.


The metric is an obsolete simplification, not the actual market.


You better tell that to the buyers, sellers, lenders and tax assessors who define that market.


> Trailers are the country ghetto.

I'd rather live in a proper house. But it's pretty common for working class rural Americans to live in mobile or prefab homes on nice properties with gardens, fruit trees, hiking trails, sheds for four wheelers, etc.

Trailer parks, which are dense neighborhoods of mobile homes or tailers, tend to be less nice and inhabited by people in poverty. Though they often have other options, like absolute run-down shacks way outside town.

Point being, there's some distinction in practice and I won't begrudge people living within their means.




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