Skip to content

Short-term rentals like Airbnb gain hold on Victoria accommodation sector

Short-term rentals make up 13.3% of Victoria’s accommodation services revenue: Stats Canada
Victoria ranks third among major Canadian cities for short-term rentals’ share of the accommodation services revenue. (Black Press Media file photo)

A new study released by Stats Canada shows Victoria is riding the crest of the increase in short-term rentals.

The analysis by Marie-Christine Bernard and Owen Vipond reveals that private short-term rentals have more than doubled its market share in the Canadian accommodation services subsection over a five-year period, going from seven per cent of total revenue in 2017 to 15.2 per cent in 2021.

Victoria ranked third among the 11 major census metropolitan areas (CMA) surveyed, where short-term rentals made up 13.3 per cent of total accommodation services revenue in 2021, trailing only Montreal (14.5 per cent) and Halifax (14.3 per cent). Vancouver ranked seventh with 9.4 per cent.

According to Inside Airbnb, which tracks Airbnb listings around the world, data from June 29 showed there were 4,700 listings in Greater Victoria over the past year, with 4,067 being entire homes or apartments. The site has noticed a shift to longer stays with Airbnb, but its figures show 1,341 of the Victoria stays were for one night and 1,625 for two nights.

Short-term rentals play an even larger role in the five tourist regions surveyed by Stats Canada, ranging from a low of 14.4 per cent in Banff to a whopping 62.3 per cent in Whistler. Mont Tremblant, Que. placed second at 57.9 per cent.

While the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on short-term rentals, the sector fared better than commercial accommodations.

“For example, revenues for private short-term rentals (-26.2 per cent) declined at a slower pace compared with commercial accommodations (-38.1 per cent) in 2020 and bounced back stronger in 2021 (+24.0 per cent for private short-term rentals; +13.0 per cent for commercial accommodations),” according to the analysis.

The survey shows short-term rentals in Victoria made up 10.1 per cent of accommodation services revenue in 2017, rising to 15 per cent in 2018 and 15.9 per cent in 2019 before tapering off to 13.5 per cent in 2020 and 13.3 per cent in 2021.

Prince Edward Island has the strongest short-term rental market in Canada, with a record high 29.9 per cent of accommodation services revenue in the province in 2021, followed by B.C. at 20 per cent. Saskatchewan has the lowest share at 3.1 per cent.

Private short-term rentals are generally defined as a privately owned home or condo made available for rent via online platforms from one to 28 days.

ALSO READ: Data project blames short-term rentals for strangling Victoria’s housing market

Dan Ebenal

About the Author: Dan Ebenal

Throughout my career, I've taken on roles as a reporter and editor in more than a dozen newsrooms across the province.
Read more