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Following a report this week by the city comptroller that said Airbnb’s presence in New York City had significantly increased rents in the city, the company upon whose data the study was based said Friday that it condemned the findings.
The report used data scraped by AirDNA, an unaffiliated company that collects and analyzes data from Airbnb listings. But an AirDNA spokeswoman said that the report by the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, came to “flawed conclusions,” and that Airbnb had no material impact on city rents.
“At no point did the comptroller contact AirDNA to ask for guidance or our professional expertise on how to read the data, leading to several crucial errors in his interpretation of the numbers,” Abigail Long, the spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Sascha Owen, a spokeswoman for the comptroller, stood by the report’s conclusions, saying it “took an empirical, data-driven approach to assessing this Airbnb effect and shared it with the public.”
“It’s no surprise that AirDNA would attack a credible report when their own bottom line depends on Airbnb’s success,” she added.
The comptroller’s report said that Airbnb made it easy to rent apartments to tourists, taking units off the market for full-time residents and driving up rents by an additional $616 million in 2016. The report used regression analysis to compare what rents would have been across 55 neighborhoods if thousands of units had not been listed on Airbnb between 2009 and 2016.
But Ms. Long said the report mistook every apartment uploaded to the website as an active listing, when many units actually remain inactive. She also said the report did not differentiate between people renting out their entire apartments and those renting out a spare bedroom.
“When a host lists their private room or a shared room on Airbnb, they are not removing a home from the residential housing market,” Ms. Long said.
She said the report “mistakenly assumes that if an Airbnb rental is merely listed on the site — even if it is only available for one night in a year — it has the same effect on the residential housing market as a full-time, professionally managed listing.”
AirDNA officials also said the comptroller’s office improperly obtained the data, arguing that the sort of data in the report is obtainable only by paying, but that AirDNA received no payments from the comptroller’s office.
“We did not sell them this data,” Scott Shatford, AirDNA’s chief executive, said in a phone interview. “As a data company, the whole value of your data is the scarcity of your data. But the bigger thing for us is people manipulating our data, putting their stamp of approval and making bad conclusions with our information.”
In response, Ms. Owen, the spokeswoman for the comptroller, said that the data in their report “was solely based on publicly available data on AirDNA’s website.”