AirBnB Update

Sep 2016

By V Adams

Short-term vacation rentals are “hot” real estate investment properties, especially in James Bay. In fact the market is so lucrative, a one-day course will be offered this fall by University of Victoria to discuss the “ins and outs” of operating your own condo or home as a vacation property income-asset.1

The most recent information available on the impact of AirBnB listings on Victoria housing has been collected by Murray Cox, who publishes  maps and information related to AirBnB listings in major cities around the globe.2

According to data collected by Inside AirBnB, on August 1, 2016, the Capital Regional District had a total of 1,691 AirBnB listings, of which 640 were listed in City of Victoria.

Of the 123 listings in James Bay, 74.8 per cent were for entire homes/apartments with an average price of $141 per night per suite. These units are occupied 34.5 per cent of the time with an estimated monthly income of $1,328. Approximately 58 per cent of the hosts had multiple listings suggesting that the owners are operating these properties as a commercial enterprise.

How does this compare with the rest of Victoria? While the percentage of listings for entire homes/apartments was similar,  the average price per suite per night in the City was almost $25 less than in James Bay. Whereas Victoria AirBnB units have only a marginally higher occupancy rate than James Bay, the estimated monthly rental income is considerably less, $1,277. Compared to James Bay however, only 40 percent of the Victoria AirBnB hosts had multiple listings.

A quick glance at comparative statistics for AirBnB properties in Vancouver3 reveals that  a higher proportion of Victoria AirBnB hosts are operating as commercial properties with higher occupancy rates and higher monthly income estimates than their counterparts in Vancouver.

What does this mean? Well, the short-term vacation rental business is now booming a retirement income opportunity.  AirBnB rentals can expect to generate an estimated two million dollars from tourists seeking an alternative to the traditional hotel accommodation experience. Since this “home-based” industry is currently unregulated, it is difficult to determine whether these properties and their owners are paying their fair share of the tax bill.

As Maureen Kirkbride,  CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, has said, “It’s vital to tax the rapidly growing sharing economy, such as Airbnb, in order to level the playing field for all tourism-related business.” 4 Will the City of Victoria do so?  Only time will tell.


Area Tot. Listings % Entire Homes % Occup. Rate (days) Price/Night Est. Mo. Income % Multiple Listings
CRD 1,691 66.6 31 (114) $124 $1,041 40
Victoria 640 74.4 38 (139) $118 $1,277 40.5
James Bay 123 74.8 35 (126) $141 $1,328 57.7
Downtown 134 87.3 45 (165) $127 $1,681 39.6
Vancouver 4,728 67.2 24 (87) $127 $844 33.3
Downtown 999 80.9 32 (116) $157 $1,386 42.6
West End 593 70.3 26 (98) $118 $832 28.3
Kitsilano 567 71.8 20 (72) $140 $745 25.6


1On November 19, 2016, University of Victoria will be offering a one-day continuing education course, Vacation Rentals – To Host or Not to Host - 

2Inside AirBnB -

3Vancouver and Victoria Comparative AirBnB Statistics – 2015/16

4Chamber of Commerce AGM backs wineries, eyes Airbnb, B.C. real estate, Times Colonist, May 31, 2016