Some Maine cities and cities have zeroed in on short-term leases in the course of the housing disaster, however a research launched this week discovered that they don’t usually compete with houses available on the market besides in populated areas and tourism locations.
Seasonal houses have remained regular at about one-sixth of Maine’s housing inventory since 2000 even after the rise of on-line platforms like Airbnb, in line with a report launched by Gov. Janet Mills’ administration workplace and MaineHousing this week. It mentioned the overwhelming majority of these houses wouldn’t be viable as year-round housing as a consequence of their dimension, price or designs.
It’s a reminder that general provide stays the largest issue within the state’s affordability disaster. Analysis revealed within the Harvard Enterprise Evaluate has discovered that the proliferation of short-term leases raises hire costs in city areas however that limiting them may also stunt general growth in communities.
“Once we see an issue, it’s straightforward to attract conclusions which will or is probably not borne in truth,” Rep. Traci Gere, D-Kennebunkport, the co-chair of the Legislature’s housing committee. “[Short-term rentals] are part of the image, however they’re not the one factor.”
Maine’s seasonal houses are concentrated alongside the coast and round inland lakes and ski areas. Even within the coastal area, which stretches from Hancock to York counties and consists of about half of the state’s seasonal houses, the share of seasonal housing has been flat since 2000.
“We now have by no means seen (that share) go up that a lot over time,” Christiana Whitcomb, who ready the research with consultancy HR&A advisors, informed reporters earlier this week.
Solely a 3rd of these properties are similar to naturally occurring inexpensive housing primarily based on dimension and high quality, the research discovered. In every area, the full variety of short-term leases which are just like houses available on the market ranges from simply 0.6% to 1.4% of the full housing provide.
That quantity varies enormously from county to county. The one with probably the most short-term leases competing with common houses is Hancock, residence to the tourism mecca of Mount Desert Island. Roughly 1 in 10 houses there are listed as short-term leases, but solely a couple of third of these could be inexpensive if positioned available on the market.
Brief-term leases could also be having some results in populated locations and tourism areas, the report mentioned as a caveat. However within the inland areas of Kennebec and Somerset counties, they aren’t a lot of an element within the housing crunch, mentioned Dave Pelton, actual property growth director for the Kennebec Valley Group Motion Program.
Shortage and affordability are extra accountable, he underscored. The housing report launched this week was headlined by a discovering that Maine wants to just about double housing manufacturing via 2030 to make up for historic underproduction and account for projected progress.
“It’s not like somebody’s lacking an inexpensive housing alternative due to a lake home,” Pelton mentioned.
Political help for regulating short-term leases has risen since residence values rose earlier within the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Democratic legislative candidates backed restrictions in the course of the 2022 marketing campaign.
Portland started monitoring and regulating them in 2017, although it voted down stronger restrictions in 2020. Bar Harbor instituted restrictions in 2021. In Rockland, non-owner occupied short-term leases are capped at 65. Within the southern Maine resort city of Kennebunkport, the cap is 400.
Rep. Valli Geiger, D-Rockland, who helps restrictions, conceded that there aren’t any short-term rental properties in her metropolis that will be inexpensive to the working class. However she mentioned they might be snapped up in a burgeoning tourism vacation spot the place hire has been almost as excessive as it’s in Portland with little housing provide.
“It was a working city,” she mentioned. “Folks have been priced out of native houses.”