Apparently, Paris is losing residents.
Between 2009 and 2014, about 13,000 people left the City of Lights and some Paris officials are putting the blame on a perhaps unexpected catalyst: Airbnb.
The French capital is Airbnb’s largest market; There are 65,000 listings on the site in Paris, says Vocativ, whose findings come from independent industry analyst Airdna. Of course, an uptick in the number of available short-term rental properties isn’t the only factor driving down the city’s population: Cost-of-living increases and lower birthrates are also taking a bite out of Paris’s census figures.
But local officials, like first-arrondissement mayor Jean-Francois Legaret, have told the press that “the population decline [can be attributed to a] rise in the number of second homes in the city.” Vocativ adds that Legaret called Airbnb a “catastrophe for central Paris,” when addressing the issue with a French daily newspaper.
Airbnb has rubbed city officials the wrong way here in the U.S., too: New York and San Francisco, tourist hotspots in their own right, each made legal moves in 2016 meant to help curb Airbnb’s stranglehold on their local hospitality industries, and make sure hosts paid the appropriate taxes, where applicable.
Time will tell what legal road Paris decides to take in helping keep its citizens in the city.