From 2006 to 2010, the foreclosure inventory climbed by nearly 2 million. It then dropped, decreasing the number of vacant homes, but the number of off-market vacant homes did not follow suit. Does Airbnb have anything to do with this trend? HousingWire staffer Kelsey Ramirez explores.

A recent Capital Economics points out that about a third of Airbnb listings are only a single room, not the whole house. Also, for an Airbnb property to be classed as vacant, its owners must have a permanent residence elsewhere, as must those staying there. That excludes homes rented out, for example, only when the owner is on vacation.

“It is interesting to note that since 2010 – the period from which Airbnb saw strong growth – to the second quarter of this year, the number of homes which are classified as occupied by persons who usually live elsewhere has indeed increased by 150,000,” Capital Economics Property Economist Matthew Pointon wrote in the report.

However, total vacancies rose 1.5 million since 2006 primarily due to “other reasons.”

Sounds like the jury is still out.

Is there another reason affecting vacancies that we have yet to uncover? Or, adversely, could homeowners be hesitant to answer truthfully due to the illegality of using Airbnb as a business in some markets?

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