Our neat categories for living, working, or playing spaces are being disrupted. We track the dynamics that shape these changes in a weekly newsletter. Sign up here. You will also find a selection from the past week’s newsletter below.
Self-Regulation Ahead for Short Term Rentals
“The short-term rental business will be taking control of its trajectory. Self-regulation is going to be an integral part of its growth. Industry “parents” such as Airbnb and Vrbo are already stepping in and taking action – and it’s in the interest of its own business and brand.” Cities such as Denver are holding marketplaces accountable. More cities are likely to follow this model. More focus will be on enforcement this year.
A New Short Term Rental Battle in Boston over Sonder
A fight over a supposed “loophole in recently passed legislation.” Sonder was blocked by a zoning board in November from converting a downtown building into what it calls “executive suites.” The city’s pushback cites impact on affordable housing and calls Sonder to go for a hotel designation.
Quarters Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
German co-living company Quarters is the latest real estate company unable to survive the pandemic. It master-leases units from building owners and rents them out as co-living units. Companies with master lease models have been hit the hardest. As of December, Quarters had nearly 3,000 units in operation and 1,500 under development. Quarters raised $300M in January 2019 to fund its U.S. expansion.
Airbnb Offers Help with Vaccine Distribution
Airbnb offered to help the new administration with vaccine distribution in rural communities. The company would “identify homes that could be used as vaccine distribution sites in communities with limited access to health care facilities as rollout efforts continue nationwide” as well as “house workers traveling to distribute vaccines if they need housing support.” Airbnb did not indicate whether these “vaccine depots” or houses used to host workers distributing the vaccine would be offered for free or discounted rates.
London Co-Living Start-Up Gravity Raised $1.4M for Expansion
Gravity aims to create a community-centered, borderless and effortless living experience. It has three properties in London and is working on projects with strategic real estate partners in London, Paris, and Barcelona. The goal is to develop “a co-living spaces network in major business hubs all over the world.”