KINGSTON – Ulster County Comptroller, March Gallagher, released a snapshot report on the impact of the short-term rental market on Ulster County. The analysis compares Ulster County to other surrounding counties and finds that 3% of all housing units in the county were being offered as short-term rentals through platforms such as Airbnb as of the end of June 2022. The Emergency Tenant Protection Act defines less than 5% vacancy as a housing emergency. The only county more heavily impacted by short-term rentals is Greene County.
“Short-term rentals have profoundly impacted the availability of long-term housing for rent and purchase in Ulster County, contributing to the conditions that create high costs and lack of availability,” said Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher. “I am pleased that many of our communities have taken on the task of regulating short-term rentals and balancing housing and nuisance issues against the economic benefits of additional hospitality. The information in this report is designed to help more communities determine whether regulating short-term rentals, including capping the number of units, may help avoid a local housing crisis. We also hope this data will inform a regional conversation about housing and inspire others to learn from the experiences of our Ulster County communities that have already begun to regulate short-term rentals.”
The analysis compares data obtained from AirDNA on whole unit short-term rentals compared to the total number of housing units identified in the 2020 Census. The large impacts are reflected in other economic indicators including a 56% increase in median home sale price between 2019 and May 2022, historically low vacancy rates, a 133% increase in occupancy tax collections between 2020 and 2021, and the addition of large numbers of tourism and hospitality jobs over the last year.
Housing stock impacts, as well as nuisance complaints from neighboring communities, have led 10 of 23 Ulster County municipalities to regulate short-term rentals. The breadth and scope of the local laws differ by community to reflect their individual needs.