Survey finds majority opposes home-sharing services ban

Thursday, August 17, 2017

With short-term rental rules on the horizon in at least two major Canadian cities, a group that monitors regulatory trends is touting the recent survey finding that a majority of Canucks oppose a ban on home-sharing services such as Airbnb.

Thirty-seven per cent of Canadians oppose a ban on home-sharing services, according to a survey conducted by Nanos Research on behalf of Consumer Choice Center. Another 23 per cent of Canadians reached by the survey said they somewhat oppose such a ban.

The survey, conducted in June and released in July, comes as Toronto and Vancouver move to regulate the burgeoning markets for short-term rentals in their jurisdictions.

“The poll demonstrates that legislators should be wary when proposing legislation that would seek to over-regulate, or ban, these services,” said David Clement, North American affairs manager, Consumer Choice Center. “When it comes to temporary accommodation, legislators should embrace home-sharing and avoid heavy-handed regulation and bans.”

Neither Toronto nor Vancouver are proposing to ban home-sharing services. They are, however, looking at limiting the practice to principal residences and introducing licensing and registration requirements.

The municipalities have acknowledged that the rise of home-sharing services has come with both benefits and drawbacks. A key concern has been that home-sharing, when done outside of principal residences, may be displacing units from the rental market, which is tight in both cities, where the cost of housing has also soared in recent years.

The Nanos Research survey found that eight per cent of Canadians support a ban on home-sharing services. Another 18 per cent of Canadians reached by the survey said they somewhat support such a ban.

Thirteen per cent of respondents said they weren’t sure either way.

Regionally speaking, a ban on home-sharing services was least popular Ontario, with 62.6 per cent saying they oppose or somewhat oppose such a ban. Opposition to this type of restriction was weakest in B.C., at 57.1 per cent.

A ban on home-sharing services decreased in popularity the older the age group, with 67.4 per cent of 18 to 39-year-olds opposing or somewhat opposing such a ban and 51.5 per cent of the 60-plus set saying the same.

The hybrid survey, conducted online and by phone, reached 1,000 Canadians and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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