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Short-term rentals in small cities in Oregon: Impacts and regulations


  • DiNatale, Sadie
  • Lewis, Rebecca
  • Parker, Robert


Governments across the country struggle to manage the impacts of short-term rentals (STRs), like Airbnbs, and the sharing economy more generally. Existing research is sparse and tends to focus on large cities or metropolitan areas. Focusing on 237 small cities in Oregon, this study relies on descriptive data from Airbnb, AirDNA, Oregon Department of Revenue, and the U.S. Census to examine the prevalence and characteristics of Airbnbs, revenue potential from lodging taxes, and the impact on long-term housing supply. This study also summarizes the findings from a statewide survey of city managers and planners on regulation and perceptions. We find that the prevalence of Airbnbs varies drastically across cities and is highest in tourist areas. Airbnbs are present on over five percent of the housing stock in 16 cities. While hosts generated $82 million in revenue, only 11 cities and four counties charge lodging taxes. In total, 38% of Airbnbs are whole homes that are rented more than 30 days in a year, signaling potential impacts on long-term rental supply. Finally, while cities perceive Airbnb to be an issue, only 35% of survey respondents are currently regulating Airbnbs. We find that cities need to understand prevalence and characteristics of STRs and respond with appropriate regulatory controls. Airbnb provides lodging and tourism where hotels have not been available in some cities, but in other cities, Airbnbs place pressure on tight housing markets and draw complaints from residents.

Suggested Citation

  • DiNatale, Sadie & Lewis, Rebecca & Parker, Robert, 2018. "Short-term rentals in small cities in Oregon: Impacts and regulations," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 407-423.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:lauspo:v:79:y:2018:i:c:p:407-423
    DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.08.023

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin, Chris J., 2016. "The sharing economy: A pathway to sustainability or a nightmarish form of neoliberal capitalism?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 149-159.
    2. Ingrid Gould Ellen, 2015. "Housing Low-Income Households: Lessons From the Sharing Economy?," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 783-784, October.
    3. Nicole Gurran & Peter Phibbs, 2017. "When Tourists Move In: How Should Urban Planners Respond to Airbnb?," Journal of the American Planning Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 83(1), pages 80-92, January.
    4. Fang, Bin & Ye, Qiang & Law, Rob, 2016. "Effect of sharing economy on tourism industry employment," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 264-267.
    5. William H. Oakland & William A. Testa, 1996. "State-local business taxation and the benefits principle," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 20(Jan), pages 2-19.
    6. Stephen Sheppard & Andrew Udell, 2016. "Do Airbnb Properties Affect House Prices?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michał Żemła, 2020. "Reasons and Consequences of Overtourism in Contemporary Cities—Knowledge Gaps and Future Research," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-20, February.
    2. Gurran, Nicole & Zhang, Yuting & Shrestha, Pranita, 2020. "‘Pop-up’ tourism or ‘invasion’? Airbnb in coastal Australia," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).


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