Choking off Airbnb offers little upside for housing

Accommodation portal ends up in crosshairs whenever housing crisis heats up

One of the major problems with Airbnb is that it is not obliged to publicly release detailed data on its listings, such as how many whole-of-property listings are in RPZs. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

One of the major problems with Airbnb is that it is not obliged to publicly release detailed data on its listings, such as how many whole-of-property listings are in RPZs. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

A sure sign that the housing crisis is coming to the boil is that politicians are, once again, pointing the finger at Airbnb.

When criticism rains down on ministers over the shortage of homes, the spectre of a “crackdown” on the accommodation portal is often conveniently deployed as an umbrella. It is a handy signifier that something – anything – is being “done” to address the problem.

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