Video “All of France is affected. The only places where there are no Airbnbs are forests and agricultural land”, worries a whistleblower

According to a whistleblower interviewed by “Complément d’investigation”, the growth of the Airbnb platform in France is not about to stop… Faced with the proliferation of furnished tourist accommodation which is driving out residents from city centers , some municipalities try to impose a restrictive framework. With what results?

In France, the number of furnished tourist accommodation continues to increase, to the detriment of long-term tenants. But it is impossible to obtain precise figures: Airbnb, leader in this market, refuses to communicate the number of rentals offered on its platform, on the pretext that the company is listed on the stock exchange. A whistleblower who has been documenting its growth for three years used scraping (an illegal technique consisting of sucking data from a site in order to analyze it) to obtain a map of France teeming with dots, each representing an Airbnb ad. “It’s chickenpox! All of France is affected. The only places where there are no Airbnbs are forests and agricultural lands.”

According to him, the number of Airbnb listings in France could exceed one million in 2024, after reaching 850,000 in 2023, compared to 650,000 around two years earlier… While according to a study commissioned by the company, only 8% of furnished tourist accommodation In France would be exclusively dedicated to rental, he estimates at 70% the proportion of advertisements which would be used to “only do Airbnb all year round. So many fewer accommodations for residents, in areas sometimes invaded by Airbnb.”

Establish quotas, like in Saint-Malo?

While waiting for more dissuasive controls and sanctions for owners, certain municipalities are trying to regulate these rentals. In Saint-Malo, invaded in 2021 by 3,000 tourist rentals (intra-muros, a third of the housing there was converted), the municipality was the first to establish quotas by district. The regulations, voted unanimously, are the strictest in France. Thus, an owner can no longer offer several apartments for short-term rental: “Today, it is an authorization for one person and for three years, so it is quite, even very restrictive,” explains to “Complement d’investigation” a municipal councilor.

The establishment of these quotas allowed Saint-Malo to go from 3,000 to 1,50 officially authorized tourist accommodations. But according to our whistleblower, nearly 400 homes are still rented secretly, without authorization from the town hall…

Extract from “Airbnb: no more roof for you!”, a document to see in “Additional investigation” on the 11th January 2024.

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