Airbnb says inflation is bringing in new hosts looking for extra income

Typical US hosts earned over $13,800 in 2021

To pull in extra income during the economic downturn, more people are becoming hosts on Airbnb.  

The California-based home-share company reported Wednesday that more people began listing their homes on the platform for the first time during the second fiscal quarter, the three-month span ending June 30, as inflation rose at its fastest pace in 40 years. 

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ABNB AIRBNB INC. 140.68 +0.84 +0.60%

"Inflation has been climbing higher around the world. At the same time, more people have begun hosting, specifically in top tourism destination countries with high growth in inflation," Airbnb said. 

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The company realized that in top Airbnb markets where there was, on average, a 1% increase in the inflation rate, there was a nearly 4% increase in the number of new hosts in that country during the second quarter. 

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A woman browses an Airbnb site on a tablet in Berlin April 28, 2016. (Ohn MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In the United States, inflation surged 8.3% in April before hitting a new four-decade high in May and June, rising 8.6% and 9.1%, respectively. Over the course of these months, the number of new hosts increased by more than 50% compared to a year ago, according to Airbnb. 

In a recent survey, nearly half of U.S. hosts admitted that one of their reasons for hosting was to earn money to offset the rise in prices.  

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However, with the cost of homeownership on the rise, new hosts may also be hosting more frequently not only to increase their earning potential but to cover higher mortgage rates, according to Airbnb. 

SPAIN - 2021/04/15: In this photo illustration, the Airbnb app seen displayed on a smartphone screen with the Airbnb website displayed on a laptop in the background. (Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In this photo illustration, the Airbnb app is displayed on a smartphone. (Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.99% as of Aug. 4. Even though that's down from 5.30% reported a week prior, it's still far above the rate a year ago today. 

At this time last year, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.77%. 

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Even though costs are rising, Airbnb said Wednesday that "the ability to earn is still strong."

In 2021, the typical U.S. host earned over $13,800, an increase of 85% over 2019. Globally, new hosts earned over $1.8 billion that year, up 30% from pre-pandemic times.