Published : Monday, December 2, 2019 | 5:16 AM
The number of short-term, Airbnb-type rental listings in Pasadena entering the holiday season dipped for the third consecutive year, though not as deeply as the drop seen between 2017 and 2018, suggesting a stabilized market.
Last November, there were 575 properties listed as short-term rentals and this year that figure rests at 532, a drop of just over 7 percent.
By contrast, there were 735 such listings in Nov. 2017.
If there was a shakeout from the City of Pasadena’s ordinance requiring registration and the collection of transient occupancy tax, it would appear to have affected some 200 properties before leveling off.
If the ordinance was indeed the driver. No one is saying that for the record.
According to statistics provided by the City Department of Planning and Community Development, there are 161 active short-term rental permits in Pasadena compared with 195 permits this time last year.
The City raked in $634,000 from July 1, 2017 to June 30 of this year in revenue associated with the transit occupancy tax on the rentals the City began collecting in March 2018.
Since then, through October 31, one-third of the year, Pasadena has taken in $157,805 in revenue.
Lia Enkelis is president of the Pasadena HomeSharing Network, which groups local property owners into a web-connected market accessible to those wanting to stay in Pasadena in a non-hotel setting.
Enkelis detailed a portrait of stability in the short-term rental market in the wake of the City’s ordinance, much as she anticipated in a similar interview last year at this time.
“The people in the Planning Department that I have talked to think the program is going along well, with very few complaints,” said Enkelis. “The City is collecting tax and happy about that.”
According to Enkelis, members of the Pasadena HomeSharing Network find the City program lends an official imprimatur to their offerings and seemingly certifies them in the eyes of potential customers.
“If guests book with us and they see that we have our registration number, they know that they’re not being scammed, but that they’re getting a legitimate place offered by the person who is whom they say they are,” she explained.
There are short-term rental platforms where scam artists offering much in the virtual world, but much less in the material one, are the norm, she explained.
Enkelis sees a stable market having been established following passage of the ordinance, and the existing class of permittees as a structural part of the local tourism economy, filling gaps Pasadena’s hotels do not.
Short-term rental operators are part of the local economic landscape now, gatekeepers to local architectural treasures (their homes) and to everything beyond their property line, home-based guides who recommend their own favorite Pasadena haunts to guests.
“It’s a lot of fun to host,” Enkelis said enthusiastically about her own experience. “Particularly over New Years. I think those of us who live here can get used to the Rose Parade, but every year we get to see it fresh and get excited through our guests who come from all over the country to watch.”