Home Factor company housing prices and short-term rental issues – Tennessee Lookout

housing prices and short-term rental issues – Tennessee Lookout


For those of us who focus our time and attention on state news coverage, whether through news sites or social media, it’s easy to think that Tennessee has unique issues .

Of course we do, because each state has its own unique issues. But to quote “Human Family,” written by the late Maya Angelou, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are not.”

A few weeks ago, I joined my colleagues for the semi-annual meeting of editors of States Newsroom’s 29 (soon to be 31) briefings. The conference is a rare opportunity to get together with people who have the same job as me, and we share our experiences, from the regular hassles of the workday to the issues that dominate our coverage.

And while I really enjoy the first part, it’s the last one that’s particularly interesting, because that’s when I can see the similarities about the issues that Tennessee has in common with other states.

Tennesseans, and especially Nashvillians, complain about housing prices and the lack of affordable housing and for good reason: A month of July report showed that Nashville is the 17th most expensive rental market in the nation, with the price of renting a one-bedroom apartment averaging around $1,700 per month.

And in August, the median home price in Davidson County was $484,000, trending up 22% over the past year.

Housing disparities in a neighborhood of East Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

That’s a pretty steep increase, but we could have worse. Darrell Ehrlick, editor of our sister outlet in Montana, reported that the median price for a single-family home in Bozeman is $871,500 — and is expected to top $1 million this year. In Missoula, a city of about 75,000 people, the median home price is about $535,000.

Who would have thought? But the conversation I had with about 15 other publishers made it clear that not only sky-high housing costs are problematic, but real estate trust investments in short-term rental properties – a factor in rising prices rentals – aren’t just Music City’s problem.

In July, the Maine Lighthouse reported that the November ballot features an initiative that, if passed, will reduce the number of short-term rental properties. Organizers say 2% of Portland’s available housing stock, or 400 units, are short-term rental properties. As in other cities, such as Nashville, shrinking long-term rental stock is increasing market pressures to raise rents — and sometimes evict tenants.

A similar measure failed in 2020, but residents of Jersey City, NJ got a better result in a 2019 referendum. preserve restrictions on DOS as Airbnb has spent over $3 million promoting their cause.

Obviously there’s a lot of money in DOS and there’s evidence show that their enactment harms the prospects for long-term and affordable housing.

“We know we’ll be massively spent, like in 2020, but we also know voters understand what’s at stake,” said Sarah Loudon, vice president of the Maine Campaign to Reduce STRs.

Nashville Subway Board voted for a ban on some STRs in 2019, but the Tennessee General Assembly considered a 2022 bill to prevent local governments from passing property guidelines.

In March, a investigation by Phil Williams with Nashville’s News Channel 5 linked Tennessee lawmakers to Airbnb, showing the short-term rental giant donated $40,000 to a Capitol Hill lobbying firm run by former lawmakers who acts as a middleman, distributing the money to nearly two dozen lawmakers.

As our group of writers discussed the housing issues facing our states, we found no solutions. But sometimes misery really loves company.