August 7, 2017

The Neighborhood Has Changed

A report from Outside Online. “In the Mountain West—’God’s country, renter’s hell,’ as one alt-weekly tagged it—where towns are already chronically beset by housing shortages, traffic problems, and the invariable ambivalence about sharing one’s slice of heaven with the tourists who help sustain it, the entrance of Airbnbs and VRBOs and HomeAways has heightened the tension. Some places, including Boulder and Denver, have passed tough regulations that permit only primary residents to rent out their properties for short periods. Other towns have taken the opposite tack, changing laws to allow previously illegal renting that was already on the rise, as happened late last year in Missoula, Montana.”

“In Bozeman, in Ketchum, in Jackson, in just about every destination or gateway town, one hears a similar murmur: not only are short-term rentals squeezing the last drops out of the housing supply. STRs have soared. In 2016, HomeAway had more than 670,000 ‘room nights’ in Colorado alone, up 24 percent from 2015.”

“Early on, says Margaret Bowes, who directs the ­Colorado Association of Ski Towns, STRs ‘were mostly just excess inventory—­someone had an extra room, they weren’t going to rent it out long-term anyway.’ Now, she argues, ‘it’s reached such a point that people buy homes for the sole purpose of renting them.’”

The Miami Herald in Florida. “Here’s something you might not realize: Vacation rental companies, like Airbnb and HomeAway, directly affect the local housing market. As of June 4, there were 9,608 active Airbnb listings in Miami-Dade County, 81 percent of which were for ‘Entire Homes.’ Studies in San Francisco and New York City concluded that ‘Entire Homes’ on Airbnb are detrimental to housing affordability — especially when multiple ‘Entire Homes’ are tied to one owner.”

“The impact on housing affordability of a homeowner who advertises one room or unit at a time is minimal. The impact of commercial operators who advertise two, four, 10 or 20 homes at once is inescapable.”

From WWL TV in Louisiana. “Summers always take their toll on the New Orleans restaurant scene. Multiple eateries have closed their doors this summer, but owners say there are more factors at play than just rising rent. Ian McNulty, food critic for The New Orleans Advocate, says summer is the slow season and the time newer restaurants typically struggle. He also thinks the proliferation of short-term rentals in the Bywater might be playing a role as well, something Minish has also noticed. ‘The neighborhood has changed,’ Minish said. ‘A lot of Air BnB’s have come in.’”

“No matter what the reason, people who call the Bywater home hope they don’t have to say goodbye to anymore local restaurants.”

The Boston Globe in Massachusetts. “The Cambridge City Council is set to vote Monday evening on a measure to limit short-term rentals, capping a year of debate over legalizing a growing industry without threatening the community’s limited housing supply. The measure would require hosts to live in the unit where the rental is located, or in the same building, so long as it has fewer than five units.”

“Currently on Airbnb alone there are more than 1,600 active rentals in Cambridge, according to the research site Airdna. City rules require Cambridge homeowners to get permission to rent for less than a month, but few have secured such permits, said Craig Kelley, the city councilor who has been leading the regulatory push.”

“Nancy Ryan, president of the civic organization called Cambridge Residents Alliance, said she would still like to see the rentals limited to just those units occupied by the host. She believes that change would increase the supply of housing in the community. ‘We’ve been particularly worried, given the cost of real estate in Cambridge, that families can barely afford the rental market here,’ she said. ‘It’s harming our overall supply of rental units, and I think it’s pushing up rental prices.’”

“According to Airdna, 853 of the active Airbnb rentals in Cambridge are entire units; the rest are rooms within a unit or a shared room. The city has about 53,000 housing units, according to its website. Other platforms, including FlipKey and HomeAway, offer similar services to Airbnb’s and would also be affected by the legislation.”

The Toronto Star in Canada. “New research showing Toronto’s top Airbnb’s earners are big commercial players is further evidence of the need for regulations limiting short-term rentals to a person’s principal residence, a senior city staff member said Friday. A draft report by urban planning researchers at McGill University identified Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver’s biggest Airbnb earners as large, commercial hosts with multiple listings, not regular people sharing their homes.”

‘The report says these Airbnb listings are eating into Toronto’s already scarce long-term rental housing stock and an absence of regulatory intervention may threaten the loss of more rental housing units. The city, in its June staff report on the burgeoning short-term rental market, estimated that of the 10,800 properties listed on Airbnb in 2016, 3,200 were not in a principal residence, Carleton Grant, the city’s director of policy and strategic support, said Friday. Those 3,200 units would not be allowed under the city’s proposed regulatory regime, which is intended to protect the long-term rental market for people who live in Toronto, he said.”

“Airbnb disputed the McGill University report’s findings and insists ‘the vast majority of its hosts are middle-class Canadian families sharing their homes to earn a bit of additional income to pay the bills.’ Fairbnb, a coalition of groups pushing for regulation, says no one disputes that. ‘But the fact is that countless non-Airbnb commissioned studies using publicly available data, including ours, have shown that the real money made for Airbnb is made by a small percentage of multi-listing hosts who run ghost hotels,’ said Fairbnb spokesman Thorben Wiedtiz.”

The New York Post. “Beware, landlords who ignore city laws against Airbnb subleasing. In a first-of-its-kind decision, a Manhattan judge has ordered that an independent manager take over two Midtown properties where the owner has allegedly continued to let renters sublease apartments on Airbnb — flouting multiple citations and an injunction ordering him to stop. The state-court decision calls the two properties — at 334 W. 46th St. and 15 W. 55th St. — ‘public nuisances’ and orders that an independent manager be brought in as receiver.”

“Immediately after Monday’s decision, the properties’ owner, Salim Assa, marched his lawyers uptown to the state Appellate Division on Thursday, winning an emergency stay that will forestall any appointment of an independent manager until an appeal is hashed out.”

“In his decision, Justice d’Auguste wrote, ‘It appears that despite receiving over one hundred building and fire violations, criminal court summonses regarding the illegal use and occupancy of the properties, being sued by the City in the instant action, and being enjoined from using the properties as illegal short-term hotels pursuant to the preliminary injunction in place, the Owner Defendants have taken minimal steps to remedy the alleged illegal use and occupancy.’”

From The Guardian. “I’ve never found scrubbing other people’s fecal matter from my toilet seat particularly fun, nor does sharing my shower appeal, and yet this is my daily routine. I’m an Airbnb host. It’s not that I enjoy losing my spare bedroom and my privacy to entertain out of town visitors: I use the platform to be able to pay rent while I go through a difficult financial time. We live in an impoverished area of Los Angeles close to a large convention center and a university. It is not a tourist hub by any means, so demand for my area is not high.”

“If you think that most hosts fit my profile, you should think again. A sizeable chunk of Airbnb’s revenue has not come from the people featured in the company’s promotional videos. Instead, a big part of its revenue has historically been driven by commercial property owners and landlords with multiple properties who rent out everything from luxurious mansions to rent-fixed units intended for long-term residents.”

“Scott Shatford was the first person to be convicted in the city of Santa Monica for snapping up leases on singles and one-bedrooms in extremely desirable locations. At the height of his rental empire, Shatford managed seven properties on Airbnb – none of which he owned, all of which had been intended for long-term residents. After he failed to respond to cease-and-desist letters from the city (he claims he did not receive them), he was finally convicted when the city itself rented four nights in one of his properties – and took him to court.”

“Shatford no longer rents out properties and has moved to Denver with his wife, Julia. He now runs a data analytics company, AirDNA, which scrapes data from Airbnb in order to provide investment information to those who wish to purchase or lease properties specifically for the short-term housing market.”

“, a site run by Murray Cox and Tom Slee, also scrapes data from Airbnb. Their site rose to prominence after they discovered that Airbnb had wiped more than a thousand listings from their site just days before releasing data which they claimed supported their defense that their site was used primarily for home sharing, predominantly by ethnically diverse lower middle class and working class professionals.”

“Property owners illegally listing multiple properties have started to face legal consequences. In June 2016, the city attorney filed a suit which listed a number of Venice Beach properties, most of them rent-fixed, allegedly being used as illegal Airbnb short term rentals after evicting long term tenants. Airbnb is not solely responsible for the short term-housing crisis, but it is a factor. At the back of my mind is the question: if Airbnb didn’t exist, would my rent even be this high?”

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Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 07:21:44

And THAT is what it is really all about.

Hotels, apartments, legit short term rental unit have to abide by a HOST of regulations - mostly for health and safety. But that costs money, have to be inspected monthly, etc.

People who rent out a spare bedroom or corporations that buy up apartments to rent on Airbnb just ignore these regulations/inspections and pocket the difference.

Until a tragedy happens - then it will be “we didn’t know” and “we are victims too…”


“In his decision, Justice d’Auguste wrote, ‘It appears that despite receiving over one hundred building and fire violations, criminal court summonses regarding the illegal use and occupancy of the properties, being sued by the City in the instant action, and being enjoined from using the properties as illegal short-term hotels pursuant to the preliminary injunction in place, the Owner Defendants have taken minimal steps to remedy the alleged illegal use and occupancy.’”

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 07:44:42

As long as you are skirting the regulations, why not go all the way?

It’s Air bed and bordello!

Prostitutes are using Airbnb rentals as “pop-up brothels” across the UK, according to a Daily Mail report.

Police just uncovered 10 temporary houses of ill repute in the towns of Cheltenham and Gloucester — and have previously found ones in half a dozen other towns across England and Scotland, according to the paper.

“This sort of thing is going on everywhere,” Detective Inspector Nick Skipworth of Cambridge Police told the paper. “There are certain places that they all seem to go and visit — the Romanians almost have a set tour route they follow around the UK.”’

Prostitution isn’t illegal in the UK, but cops raided six of the bawdy houses last week and arrested four people for various charges including human trafficking, as part of an operation to help women who are caught up in the sex trade or are victims of modern slavery, the paper reports.

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-08-07 15:49:17

An additional problem with Airbnb is that it has really driven up the cost of extra bedrooms, at least in Silicon Valley. I think it used to be that the price spread between 1br, 2br, 3br etc. was only a few hundred a bedroom. So if you had a family with multiple kids it was only a little more expensive.

Now every additional bedroom is worth $1000 a month. Period. So the rents for the bigger apartments and houses are particularly insane. Distorts purchase prices in a similar way too.

Maybe family were getting a free ride before and this is just efficient market pricing. But still unfortunate for them.

Comment by Sean
2017-08-07 07:57:38

I see this a bit differently. Tech moves faster then the government, so things like Uber and Air Bnb are up and running before any zoning laws take effect. By the time local governments realize there is a problem (meaning THEY aren’t making any money off of AirBnb) it’s too big and it’s time to shut it down.

And that’s what it boils down to: These local municipalities/groups aren’t getting their cut. If Blackstone had a large AirBnb footprint and gave some $$$ to the Assoiciation of Ski Area Whatever’s, would there be a problem?

And the answer to that is no.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 08:05:16

By accident, you hit the nail on the head.

If AirBnb had to pay all taxes/fees and abide by all the health/fire/safety regulations that hotels/apartments/legit short term rentals have to…


They can’t compete with their significant “cut” of the rental process.

No one would use them.

Comment by oxide
2017-08-07 08:34:50

Wait… so you’re saying these municipalities wouldn’t care about health and safety as long as they get their cut of taxes and campaign donations?

This is a sincere question. I understand that the local govs would want a “cut” in the form of taxes and fees. But where is the profit in following health and safety regs? The gain is in health and safety, not $$ for the local gov.

[yes I suppose there's a little profit in inspection, but how significant is that?]

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2017-08-07 09:38:38

My area now requires fire sprinkler systems to be installed in all new single family construction. Brought to you by the sprinkler lobby…

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Comment by scdave
2017-08-07 10:03:59

My area now requires fire sprinkler systems to be installed in all new single family construction. Brought to you by the sprinkler lobby… ??

Yep….For the entire state of California…Friend of mine just finished his new home in a very rural area…Had to set up a complete separate water delivery system with a 2000 gallon tank to provide sprinklers in the house…I think then entire system cost him in excess of the $70,000…This is what our brain trust does in Sacramento…All it takes is one bleeding heart to make their case to create a new law no matter what the impact or cost…Chit…The water causes more damage then the fire does…

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-08-07 10:24:47

Your friend got burned or someones a lion.

Comment by Rental Watch
2017-08-07 13:04:54


And over time, the need for rapid fire response will decline (perhaps in 50 years), but you can bet that it will take another 50 years to actually reduce that particular cost…

Comment by scdave
2017-08-07 16:21:54

but you can bet that it will take another 50 years to actually reduce that particular cost… ??

I just did one on much smaller house then my friend. I think it ran me close to 30K. The upsize installation for the water meter alone was over 16K.

And HA. You don’t know WTF you are talking about. You toss BS around at about the same pace as your charlatan leader.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-08-07 16:26:49

Back to $16k water meters? You’re full it as usual.

Comment by Blue Skye
2017-08-08 03:49:53

Dave is in the sprinkler installation business? Awesome.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-08-08 06:06:36

And these are “friends”. lol.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-08-07 09:47:12

[yes I suppose there's a little profit in inspection, but how significant is that?]

Think present municipal $$$$ shortfalls.
Think yearly permits.
Think $200/year per unit.

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Comment by Sean
2017-08-07 09:51:38

What different regulations are required between a simple rent per month condo and a day-by-day rental condo on Airbnb? All plumbing/electrical/HVAC should be already at code when built. So besides fire alarms and extinguishers, plus maybe being ADA compliant, what is the big difference?

What I see are the NIMBY types in high dollar areas like Vail or Aspen or NYC getting upset, and it is local governments getting upset they aren’t taking in tax dollars. So if I open up a Bed and Breakfast in a quaint house, I would be OK since I technically run a business. I’m good! I pay my taxes! If I took the same house and Airbnb’ed it I’m bad! Letting the unwashed party it up with no regulations! Sad!

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Comment by oxide
2017-08-07 10:17:05

All plumbing/electrical/HVAC should be already at code when built.

Say wah? If you buy a quaint old house, of course all the old systems are not to current code. The old systems violate current code but they are grandfathered in. If you wanted to create a new B&B, you would have to upgrade the house to meet current safety codes: sprinklers, egress windows, etc. This is in addition to taxes. But if you took the same quaint house as-is and rented with AirBnb, you wouldn’t have to do any of those upgrades. That will endanger the health and safety of the guests. That’s the difference. Am I missing something?

Also, I don’t see how safety regulations helps with local gov shortfalls. Say I pay $200 for a permit, but it also costs $200 for the local gov to arrange for the inspection and pay the inspector’s salary. So the local gov doesn’t *net* any (or much) profit from this at all, so there’s nothing to apply to a shortfall anywhere else. Maybe the safety regulations are there for actual safety, and not as a moneymaker?

[I'm rather surprised that local governments aren't using the health and safety strategy to combat AirBnB. The customers of AirBnB -- tourists and business travelers on a per-diem budget -- aren't going to care about "Depriving the area of housing for low income blah blah." But if they knew that these AirBnB don't have to be up to safety codes, maybe that might cut down on the AirBnbs.]

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-08-07 13:13:40

“Maybe the safety regulations are there for actual safety, and not as a moneymaker? ”

Think money. In Miami roof inspections are drive-by. I watched the Miami clown slow down in front of the house across the street and then speed off in his county vehicle.

How did it go? my neighbor asked, calling me from his work.
It was perfect, I told him, adding: Fast, too.

Comment by Sketch
2017-08-07 09:46:25

They’re also ignoring any City’s Development code when it comes to zoning for residential, commercial, industrial…etc. I’m sure those folks that purchased a home in a residential area, didn’t expect to deal with neighbor that brings all the parking/noise issues that would come with living next to a business.

Comment by palmetto
2017-08-07 07:22:50

Am I the only one to notice this juxtaposition:

“I’ve never found scrubbing other people’s fecal matter from my toilet seat particularly fun” followed by a story about “Scott Shatford”.

I admit, I laughed like hell. No, I’ve never grown up.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 07:37:49

Ben has a nose for stories where the names of the subjects enhance the humor.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 07:39:14

The joys of insane rents and housing prices due to ZIRP and cheap/easy money.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 07:26:45

But what about the polar bears?

2banana’s Law:

Conservatives are more than happy to live under the same laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

Liberals/progressives expect to exempted from the same laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

And PS - for a 2banana home - Gore uses at least 50x the energy I use…


Al Gore’s Carbon Footprint Doesn’t Matter
New Republic | August 7, 2017 | Emily Atkin

Al Gore is back in the spotlight with his new documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel, making him a top target again of the right-wing counter-intel complex. On Thursday, the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research released a report, “Al Gore’s Inconvenient Reality,” that paints the former vice president as a hypocritical climate advocate. In near-creepy detail, NCPPR author Drew Johnson maps Gore’s home in Nashville, Tennessee, down to the number of windows, and concludes that “Gore’s own home electricity use has hypocritically increased to more than 21 times the national average this past year with no sign of slowing down.”

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 07:29:51

“Scott Shatford was the first person to be convicted in the city of Santa Monica for snapping up leases on singles and one-bedrooms in extremely desirable locations. At the height of his rental empire, Shatford managed seven properties on Airbnb – none of which he owned, all of which had been intended for long-term residents.”

Stories like this make you wonder how much of the perceived California housing shortage the politicians love to lament is really about investors snapping up inventory by whatever means are available to make a quick buck.

Comment by Young Deezy
2017-08-07 07:41:39

This is really the untold story of California housing, I think- the rapacious investor demand driving inventory down. At one point in Sacramento I’d estimate somewhere around 7 out of 10 sales were going to investors, and while investor demand for SFR’s has slowed, they’re still a HUGE chunk of the buyers. They’re not only mom and pop landlords but also huge institutional investors and mainland Chinese. It’s gonna be interesting if/when appetite for RE as an investment tanks, yes indeed.

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-08-07 14:35:04

This is really the untold story of California housing, I think- the rapacious investor demand driving inventory down.

And it will never end until they lose a LOT of money, which won’t happen until we stop foaming the runway for the banks.

Comment by da bear
2017-08-09 14:50:29

“They’re not making any more Sacramento!”

da bear

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 07:42:08

“investors snapping up inventory by whatever means are available to make a quick buck.”

This has happened all through history.

The difference today is there is NO RISK and NO CONSEQUENCES to this action. So why wouldn’t people do this?

You can thank eight years of obama’s ZIRP, bailouts, deficits, not one banker in jail, cheap and easy money.

It really is obama’s greatest legacy.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 19:36:16

Except that it wasn’t Obama’s policy, as he didn’t work for the politically independent Federal Reserve…

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 07:35:16

Do you plan to work until the day you drop?

Older people dying on job at higher rate than all workers
BY Maria Ines Zamudio and Michelle Minkoff, Associated Press
August 2, 2017 at 1:12 PM EDT

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 07:49:02

When you read these stories, it looks like the older folks just ignore safety regulations.


Thomas Stiede, principal officer for Teamsters Local 703, said White knew the safety procedures and he can’t understand why White didn’t wear a safety harness. “He was a very conscientious employee,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion.

After a bag of mortar fell from the pallet, Qiang backed up and rolled off a ramp. The forklift tipped over and Qian was crushed when he jumped off.

The agency fined the San Francisco-based company $62,320, saying it had failed to ensure that forklift operators were competent and wore seat belts.

Comment by palmetto
2017-08-07 07:49:50

“Do you plan to work until the day you drop?”

In some ways, there’s nothing wrong with that, depending on the circumstances. Beats the peewadden out of rotting away in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

I know one older lady who complains that her husband, an electrician, insists on working when he could retire. She wants him to retire so they can “have some fun”.

I understand why he doesn’t retire. It gives him a purpose in life and something more to leave to his kids, who he loves. There are all sorts of stories about men who retire and then die of a heart attack or something within a year. Golfing, gambling and cruising just didn’t get it for them.

Ladies, if you’re older, and have a husband who wants to work, if you love him and want him to be around, you’ll let him work.

Comment by oxide
2017-08-07 08:50:00

Well for one thing, if someone has enough health issues that he has to live in assisted living or a nursing home, he’s probably not capable of working.

On the woman thing: palmetto, you’re making a classic male mistake. Men tend to equate love with money, while women equate love with time. What would this guy’s kids rather have: more time with Dad, or something more after he dies? And the wife believes that her husband’s purpose in life should now shift to spending time with her and the family. After all, isn’t that why he worked all those years? Like it or not, that’s the woman’s perspective. Money isn’t everything.

White-collar households compromise by allowing the husband (or wife, these days) to work part-time, or on expert consulting. But that doesn’t work well for hands-on work like an electrician.

Comment by Blue Skye
2017-08-07 10:20:12

“that doesn’t work well for hands-on work like an electrician.”

My code inspector is a retired electrician.

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Comment by Taxpayers
2017-08-07 13:57:02

That’s sexist!
Wow,it’s fun saying moral high ground,virtue signaling

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-08-07 07:55:31

Since the work I perform requires no effort on my part the answer is “of course”.

Pukes work, lenders reap. God’s Plan.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 08:13:49

Hey - I just got a letter from you over the weekend.

A credit card with a $22K line, lots of bonus travel points and “only” a $250 annual fee and a 24% interest rate.

Right into the trash.

Lenders can’t reap if there is no debt…

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-08-07 08:56:21

“I got a letter from you over the weekend.”

Chumming for fish. Sometimes the net gets some, sometimes it doesn’t. Rarely does the net get them all.

No matter; there is no shortage of fish.

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Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-08-07 13:29:49

“Do you plan to work until the day you drop?”

Is the economy allowing people to retire ? We have raised the ages for collecting Social Security, haven’t we?

“Every thirty year-old wants to live to ninety in the body of a thirty year-old.”—–Mom (1914-2017)

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-08-07 13:58:03

Only gov workers can retire
Got cola?
Got pension?

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-08-07 14:29:51


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Comment by MightyMike
2017-08-07 19:40:45

Only gov workers can retire

That’s false. Just visit some retirement communities.

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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 19:27:42

Sorry for your loss. But what an amazing life your mom must have led for over a century!

Comment by palmetto
2017-08-07 07:43:14

I heard a rumor from one of the local handymen that the 55+ community around here just brought the hammer down on short term rentals. People who own homes there have always been able to rent out their property during snowbird season, for anywhere from 1-3 months at a time. But that policy was taken advantage of, due to weekly Air BnB rentals, apparently. According to the handyman, the new rule is minimum 4 months.

He said he had been retained for a job fixing up a guy’s house and got a call from the client cancelling the job, because he was pissed about the new rule and was putting his house up for sale.

That rule will be strictly enforced, too, on account of there are lots of retirees with time on their hands and nothing better to do than spy on their neighbors and report them.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 08:08:37

Retirees really are the best security system known to man…


Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-08-07 13:32:14

Give ‘em window blinds and they’re dangerous.

Comment by oxide
2017-08-07 11:45:21

Selling his house because he’s pissed about the new rule?

Suuurrre. How much you want to bet that he cash-out refi for toys and now needs the AirBnB to make the mortage payment?

Comment by MGSpiffy
2017-08-07 18:12:52

Technology in the last decade has disrupted more than a couple long-standing but unofficial ’social contracts’ that most residential neighborhoods have had.

One has been the very short-term leasing out of rooms or the entire home. Very disruptive to the neighbors (transient renters are more likely to be source of crime/noise/trash/traffic/etc ). Historically it would have been a LOT of work for most people to reach a large enough audience of potential renters to make it worthwhile. From Craigslist to AiRBnB, the effort, friction and risk of doing so for the owner has plummeted.

Another implied contract, or at least a benefit, relates to traffic. Waze, with it’s real-time traffic data and GPS info is turning many residential neighborhood streets into main traffic arteries, significantly altering the experience for homeowners along the paths - and google doesn’t care about that.

The rules change in the 55+ community is the kind of response I expect to see more of in the future as local communities and ordinances catch up to technological change.

Comment by CHE
2017-08-08 12:43:46

Yes, but a lot of times those homeowners fought against putting through actual traffic arteries.

I think it’s delicious that here in LA, they fought for years and years to not put another main road through the canyon and now these people’s canyon streets are plugged up daily with traffic.

They’ve also been pulling this road-diet crap where they TAKE AWAY lanes on roads - again forcing people through neighborhood streets.

This all goes back to NIMBYs and bad governing officials. Let in millions of illegals, give them drivers licenses, build no new infrastructure and then rip out existing infrastructure??

This wasn’t Google’s fault.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 08:19:33

Great article. From the Tribune, no less!

2banana’s Law:

Conservatives and more than happy to live under the same laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

Progressive/liberals expect to exempted from the same laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

How Democrats keep guns in the hands of the rich
Chicago Tribune - August 7th, 2017 - John R. Lott Jr.

When it comes to voting rights, any obstacles outrage liberals; even free government-issued IDs are viewed as disenfranchising poor and disproportionately black people. But when it comes to the right to own a gun for self-defense, liberals don’t hesitate to pile on fees, ID requirements, expensive training and onerous background checks.

A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the average fee for a concealed handgun permit is $67, but it is much higher in the most Democratic states. Each 10-percentage-point increase in a state’s presidential vote for Hillary Clinton was associated with an additional $30 in the concealed handgun permit fee. In California, where Clinton won by about 30 points, fees can be as high as $385 for just two years. In New York City, where she won by 60 points, a three-year permit costs $430.

In addition to prohibitive fees, some blue states — California, Illinois — require four times as many training hours as the national average, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of obtaining a concealed-carry license. In California counties, the mandated cost of training can run from $250 to more than $1,000. Compare heavily Democratic Illinois, where the cost of permit and training runs over $450, with neighboring Republican Indiana where the total cost for everything is $50.

In some states, the poor need not apply even if they are willing to pay these costs. In the Democratic-leaning states of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, as well as the District of Columbia, people have to demonstrate need for a permit to a local public official.

Los Angeles County illustrates how this discretion results in only a select few wealthy and powerful individuals getting permits. If Los Angeles County authorized permits at the same rate as the rest of the country, it would have around 600,000 permit holders. Instead, only 226 permits have been issued within a population of about 7.9 million adults, and many of them have gone to politically connected individuals, including judges. Indeed, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca earned a reputation for awarding permits to people who gave him campaign donations or generous gifts.

In New York City, permits seem to go only to a politically approved segment of the rich and powerful. This includes union heads and people such as Donald Trump, Laurence Rockefeller, Howard Stern and Robert De Niro. Those who aren’t politically approved — Fox News’ John Stossel, for instance — don’t get permits no matter how much evidence they provide about death threats they’ve received.

After the Supreme Court struck down the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., in 2008, the city quickly imposed the most onerous licensing and registration fees in the country. The total costs for a permit temporarily reached an incredible $834. Who but the affluent can afford such a fee?

Comment by MightyMike
2017-08-07 10:18:52

Nothing there supports your silly “law”.

Also, John Stossel is a clown. He’d probably hurt himself if he was armed and dangerous.

Comment by junior_kai
2017-08-07 14:08:23

Wow, a leftist attacking the messengers - never seen that before, lol!

Probably still salty that wikileaks et. al. revealed what a b your queen b was. What is it about reality that leftists hate so much? Exposing their corrupt, vapid natures I guess.

Funny, just heard Chicongo is suing DOJ, claiming the crackdown on sanctuary cities is creating a “culture of fear”. I guess having a murder rate greater than LA and NY COMBINED, despite having probably a quarter of that combined population is not a “culture of fear”.

Gotta love the dims, eugenics always at the top of their list in any and every form imaginable.

Comment by MightyMike
2017-08-07 14:33:30

A criticism of John Stossel sets off a rant like that? Yeah, anyone who’s critical on someone in the media must be some far left communist, before good conservatives never criticize media personalities.


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Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2017-08-07 09:52:15

“Living the dream has never been easy in the West’s most beloved adventure hamlets, where homes are a fortune and good jobs are few. But the rise of online short-term rentals may be the tipping point that causes idyllic outposts like Crested Butte, Colorado, to lose their middle class altogether—and with it, their soul.”

Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, the mountains of California - it doesn’t matter which ski area, they’re all insanely overpriced, with vacant land as far as the eye can see.

Land in these areas is sold by the government to large developers. You and I have no access. So, there’s an artificial restriction of supply for building. That boosts prices to levels only the wealthy can afford, and they buy up everything and have the financial capacity to carry it indefinitely, even at a loss.

Driving through these areas in the off-season, or even prime season depending upon the economy at the time, one will see many, many vacant houses, rentals, etc. It’s where the wealthy park their money or show off their wealth in the way of ostentatious second homes.

Whether it’s Incline Village, NV and Larry Ellison’s grotesque monetary display, Aspen, Colorado and the Koch brothers, or Jackson Hole, WY and Christy Walton of Walmart- it’s endemic.

Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 10:16:40

Funny how you don’t mention the Hollywood elite buying in these places.

I am sure it was an innocent oversight.

They are all for the environment and the poor and refugees…in their 10,000 sq ft mansions in the woods.

Maybe Robert Redford’s property at Sundance will ring a bell.

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2017-08-07 15:29:45

I don’t even pay attention to the “Hollywood elite,” assuming there is such thing. I pay attention to oligarchs and their puppets.

Comment by Gordon Gekko
Comment by 2banana
2017-08-07 11:40:34


Tina Lam and Michael Cheng snatched up Presidio Terrace — the block-long, private oval street lined by 35 megamillion-dollar mansions — for $90,000 and change in a city-run auction stemming from an unpaid tax bill. They outlasted several other bidders.

Now they’re looking to cash in — maybe by charging the residents of those mansions to park on their own private street.

The couple’s purchase appears to be the culmination of a comedy of errors involving a $14-a-year property tax bill that the homeowners association failed to pay for three decades.

Past homeowners have included Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her financier husband, Richard Blum; House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi; and the late Mayor Joseph Alioto. A guard is stationed round the clock at the stone-gate entrance to the street to keep the curious away.

Comment by palmetto
2017-08-07 13:16:55

That IS funny.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2017-08-07 15:39:49


Comment by Rental Watch
2017-08-07 17:01:04

Absolutely fantastic.

Comment by MightyMike
2017-08-07 15:20:59

Jobless rate raises question: How much better can it get?

Aug. 05, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A drop in the unemployment rate to a 16-year low raises a tantalizing question about the job market: How much better can it get?

Earlier this year, economists worried that the low unemployment rate meant businesses would struggle to find workers and that would drag down the pace of hiring. Those fears were heightened by a tiny job gain in March and modest hiring in May.

Yet Friday’s jobs report suggests such concerns are premature. Employers added 209,000 jobs, after a solid gain of 231,000 in June, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent, from 4.4 percent, matching the low reached in May.

The U.S. economy is benefiting from steady growth around the world, with Europe and Japan perking up and China’s economy stabilizing. Corporate revenue and profits are growing too, and the stock market has hit record highs.

Economists were particularly encouraged by the fact that more Americans are coming off the sidelines and finding jobs. For the first few years after the recession, many of the unemployed stopped looking for work.

Some were discouraged by the lack of available jobs. Others returned to school or stayed home to take care of family. The government doesn’t count those out of work as unemployed unless they are actively searching for jobs.

That trend began to reverse last year and has continued into 2017. To many economists, that means robust hiring could continue for many more months, or even years.

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-08-07 15:52:11

Oracle is doing a major layoff right now in multiple locations. I think things are going down very soon, at least among the older tech companies that actually make stuff.

Comment by scdave
2017-08-07 16:31:49

Oracle is doing a major layoff right now in multiple locations ??

In the Bay Area Carl ?

Comment by Carl Morris
2017-08-07 17:33:24

Yeah here in the San Jose office (it might be just across the line into Santa Clara, I don’t know the exact borders well yet). And I just heard from a guy in the Colorado office that says he expects it there within the next few days too.

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Comment by scdave
2017-08-07 18:05:15

Interesting. Will see if it’s just a purge or start of something broader. Everyone I speak to are super busy and hiring.

Comment by rms
2017-08-07 17:49:26

The grapevine says M9 project is going to be canceled; not official yet.

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Comment by aqius
2017-08-07 16:35:36

I’ll gladly take that Oracle Yacht off Larry’s hands if he’s hurtin’ for some some couch change . . . which is my budget.

that thing was flying across the bay at Americas Cup. all the downtown suits came outside & swarmed Marina Green on the last day of racing.

what a day; perfect weather and a come-from-behind win!

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-08-13 07:48:48

Chop welfare and the participation rate will zoom
See Singapore for results

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-08-07 16:02:03

Austin, TX Housing Prices CRATER 5% YOY

Comment by MTBigSky
2017-08-07 18:57:20

Gallatin County is suing three property owners of a log home in the Hebgen Lake area that has been used repeatedly as a short-term rental, violating zoning regulations for the area.

The joint property owners of 45 Mountain Vista Drive in West Yellowstone are Jing Chen, Lillian Yin and Rui Lai, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Gallatin County District Court. Chen is believed to be a resident of the county, but, according to the lawsuit, Yin and Lai are believed to be from California.

Prior to the three buying the property in March, Nicole Olmstead, county code compliance specialist, received complaints from neighbors that a two-story addition to the log home had been used as a duplex. Inspection by the planning department in May and October of 2011 confirmed that the addition included a kitchen, living and sleeping facilities, and violated zoning regulations.

Olmstead issued a notice for the violation in 2012 to Judith Marr, property owner at the time, and demanded the addition be brought up to code with the regulations. The county confirmed that all necessary items had been removed from the addition.

Three years later, the property was listed for sale and advertised the addition to include cooking and eating facilities. A code compliance officer issued another warning to Marr for the violation.

“Ms. Marr’s response indicated she was in the process of selling the property and had undergone financial, health and personal hardships that prohibited her from resolving the zoning violations,” the lawsuit said.

It was then agreed that Marr would notify any potential buyers of the violation they would be inheriting with the purchase of the property.

In March of this year, Olmstead received a call from Chen, recorded as “Derek Chen,” but believed to be the defendant in the case, inquiring about the violations the property had incurred. Olmstead emailed the notices to Chen, and included a copy of the planning and zoning commission order for compliance on the building.

“In response, Defendant Chen requested Ms. Olmstead describe any fine on the property and ‘the consequence … if the owner doesn’t solve the issue to meet the requirements,’” the lawsuit said.

Around the same time of the emails back-and-forth with Chen, Olmstead said she noticed the property was listed on the website airbnb, a popular online marketplace and hospitality service, which allows people to rent their homes for short periods of time.

Chen removed the listing from the website, but the code compliance department continued to receive complaints from neighbors that the property was being used by multiple families for short periods.

The lawsuit includes multiple examples when law enforcement received complaints and responded to find airbnb renters occupying the house. In one example, Deputy Michael Gavagan spoke with several individuals who acknowledged renting the property on a short-term basis.

“These individuals had rented the property through the website for four nights, for 16 adults and 10 children, and for a total of $4,000,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit seeks a judge’s order to find the property in violation of the zoning regulation, and an order for the owners of the property to stop using the addition for short-term rentals and a dwelling all together. It also seeks compensation for all costs associated with the lawsuit.

The property has since been removed from the short-term rental site. The Chronicle reached out to Chen for comment Friday, but did not hear back.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-08-07 19:40:30

Is it already time to get the PR work underway for another GSE bailout?

Fannie and Freddie could need $100 billion bailout in next crisis, stress test finds
By Andrea Riquier
Published: Aug 7, 2017 3:48 p.m. ET
That’s about 20% less than last year’s stress tests revealed

Comment by Taxpayers
2017-08-13 06:14:48

Zillow predicts Lake home values will decrease 2.1% next year, compared to a 0.4% decrease for San Francisco

Ok one called down

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