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Air BnBs

From Andrew Beck

Saturday, 13 August 2022

There are now a lot of Air BnB properties in Hebden Bridge, I hadn't noticed the growth of them until recently but a search on the app shows there has been a huge growth over the past few years. 

At the same time, people talk about how hard it is to find decent private rented places in town and I hear one local school is looking unviable because there are not enough young families nearbye to fill the classes. These might have something to do with it being harder for young families to find a place to rent or an affordable one to buy. The growth of Air BnBs might be contributing to that.

Towns in Wales and the South West have begun to realise that too many Air BnBs are bad for communities. Should we begin to think the same? Should our local authority be interested?

From Gillian MH

Sunday, 14 August 2022

There's no doubt that tourism has changed the town over the past few years - with so many shops now catering for the influx of visitors at the weekend.

It's also true that holiday lets skew a community - empty second homes (which Hebden isn't especially victim of) and airbnbs altering the demographic of a town.

But for all of the hostility there will be some people turning to this income to try and make ends meet in the midst of a cost of living crisis. Long term rental prices haven't increased in line with property prices locally - so renting out a house longterm is no longer financially viable.

The hostility to airbnbs is understandable when people are unable to rent - but it's not straightforward. Whether we like it or not we now live in a tourist town. Twenty years ago there were few places for tourists to stay, we had five banks, a fire station and police station and somewhere to get your keys cut.

If we want the airbnbs to wither and die we need to address what we have become and the reasons why.

From Jae Evans

Monday, 15 August 2022

As a long-term renter myself, I'm not sure I understand where Gillian MH is coming from: ''Long-term rents have not kept up with house prices''?  What exactly does this mean? And while I could assume her reference, it doesn't fit my experience over the past 20 yrs: rents have often been more expensive than a comparable mortgage for the property I was renting.  To compare the two is something of a 'red herring'.  

HB has been a 'tourist destination' since I moved here 40yrs ago, and trends wax and wane but, yes, I do think since the pandemic, people have flocked in increasing numbers.  And while some businesses have pandered to this phenomenon, many have maintained their integrity and ethos and more power to them.  

It is a complex picture, and hardly a unique situation as coastal communities will confirm, and I would like to see quotas for holiday rentals - sooner, rather than later.  This valley like so many other places needs a mix of housing to suit all. Houses used to be 'Homes' not investments. Homes are necessary for any community to function well. It's a humungous topic that we all need to address - honestly and openly: Gov, Councils, home-owners, Landlords - and citizens - who is listening?

From Gillian MH

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

 ''Long-term rents have not kept up with house prices''? 

There was always a calculation that to make a rental property viable you'd need a return on the original house price of between 8% - 10%. So a terraced property on the market for £200,000 - normal for Hebden now - would need to pull in a monthly rental of at least £1500 to make it a viable investment. That's not achievable. 

With regards Hebden always having been a tourist town, I'd suggest that say twenty years ago those tourists were prominently walkers or day trippers. People rarely stayed overnight or at least not for any length of time. There was the Carlton Hotel, the White Lion and a handful of B&Bs if that. Currently all airbnbs are full - no capacity at all, so demand is there. I'd suggest the explosion in overnight visitors is pedestrianisation, booze culture, Happy Valley, COVID... there are probably many more reasons. I don't have an axe to grind. I'm just stating facts. Tourists are flocking here and some people cashing in on this will be parasitic, others will be simply trying to make a few quid in a really tough financial climate - I doubt changeovers are much fun btw. Stripping beds, washing, cleaning, especially given soaring overheads. I wouldn't fancy doing it. 

Lumping all airbnb owners together is failing to understand that the problem of homelessness and an inadequate housing stock lies at Number Ten and not at the door of someone choosing, or in some cases forced, to rent out their homes to strangers.

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 9 September 2022

Anyone got a number of how many Air BnBs there are and how many are actually year round lets rather than someone letting out the back bedroom?

From Andy M

Monday, 26 September 2022

Air BnB map indicates c 83 in Hebden/ Heptonstall. 55 being complete houses.  

So, with a population  of c 6000 for both places divided by the average household occupancy for Yorkshire (2.3) = c2600 houses (maybe!) so Air BnB houses = 2% of the town's

From Andy M

Thursday, 6 October 2022

 I refined my guesstimate using actual housing figures and for HX7 post code area complete house  Air B nBs account for c1.2% of all housing but obliviously a greater % of potential, on-the-market housing

From Lesley M

Sunday, 30 October 2022

Living close to many Air B & B s and temporary accommodation, I know that their clients are not going to check up on me in bad weather; they are not going to take in my deliveries; I am unlikely, because I do not know them, to take in their deliveries; I am unlikely to be asked to baby-sit their children; I won't be checking up that they're ok if I haven't seen them for a couple of days.

I appreciate that some people need to generate income wherever they can, but it does need to be acknowledged that the sense of community is lost when it is occupied intermittently by people who have no personal investment in Hebden Bridge.

For people who want to live here, 12 months a year, Hebden Bridge is a no-go area.  The prices of house and apartments prohibit that. That includes all the youngsters who have grown up here or who would like to stay here.