What Does the Sharing Economy Mean For the Real Estate Market?
The Sharing Economy’s Effect on the Housing Market
Sharing services like Uber and Lyft have changed the way people around the world pay for goods and services. Their explosive popularity has edged into bike sharing, home-sharing through services like Airbnb and VRBO, and even real estate.
This sharing economy is changing the needs and wants of homeowners and city-goers. For example, rideshare users have less need for parking and garage space, as well as greater accessibility to their surrounding neighborhoods. But, that’s not all — here’s how the sharing economy has impacted the housing market.
In Some Cities, the Sharing Economy Has Driven Prices Up
One of the biggest impacts of the sharing economy has been to home prices. In cities like San Francisco, Airbnb has made the cost of living there unaffordable for many long-term residents.
Steven Jones, the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, explains, “We have a dwindling stock of rent-controlled units in San Francisco … Any of those precious few units going to visiting tourists rather than permanent residents certainly adds to the housing crisis here.”
If you do business in a popular region where tourists are common, you may have even experienced this phenomenon first-hand.
Uber and Other Sharing Services Make It Easier For Homeowners to Explore Their Communities
On the positive side of things, the sharing economy has also made it far easier for people to get out and explore without having to own a car or a bike.
Large and small cities alike throughout the country now offer bike sharing, where anyone can rent a bike for a few hours to run their errands or enjoy a leisurely bike ride. Uber and Lyft have made it possible for some people to ditch their cars partially or completely, which is great in parking space-strapped cities and neighborhoods.
The Sharing Economy and Real Estate
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the real estate market is about to become indirectly involved in the sharing economy.
Garrett Camp, an Uber co-founder, recently released a digital platform called Haus. Haus takes the offer submission and acceptance process and turns it digital. When speaking with TechCrunch, Camp said, “Collecting offers and presenting them is a very manual process, the way that town car companies would pick up a phone, write the fare on the board, and send the next available driver to that location.”
Haus aims to make the real estate version of that same process easier, more streamlined and more transparent, much like Uber did for ride hailing.
While it’s clear that the service isn’t the next Uber for real estate agents, it remains to be seen how it will impact the industry, especially since it’s currently only available in California.
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