Short-term rentals and long-term residence in Amsterdam and Barcelona: A comparative outlook

Recently, our colleagues Susan Vermeulen and Anna Bornioli were part of an insightful study on the effects of tourism growth on residential stability in Amsterdam and Barcelona, led by Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Before COVID-19, Amsterdam and Barcelona suffered with uncontrolled growth of tourism and rising rental cost and housing prices. In this study, the hypothesis was made that short-term rentals would correlate with the average duration of residence in Amsterdam, and with the percentage of long-term residents in Barcelona, after controlling for rent and house prices, and demographic trends. Fixed effects panel regression models, with area and time-specific intercepts, are used to test the hypothesis. 


It was found that negative externalities of Airbnb for residential stability are consistent in both cities, although these are mostly associated with a rent increase in Amsterdam, as opposed to rising property values in Barcelona. These results largely reflect the structural differences in tenure regimes and housing policies between the two cities. The departure of long-term residents in tourism destinations fuels a process of progressive social disinvestment, as highlighted in the study's concluding remarks. Additionally, the study discusses the implications of these findings for urban policies in a post-pandemic scenario.

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