Airbnb’s popularity among Maryland homeowners only continued to grow last year, and data indicate Baltimore led the way.
Hosts using the home-sharing website and app in Maryland brought in $42.2 million in income in 2017, up from $25.3 million one year earlier, according to figures released by the company Monday morning. Individual stays climbed more than 75 percent, from 151,000 to 265,000.
Baltimore’s homeowners drew more than a quarter of that total, earning $11.3 million over 75,800 total stays. Annapolis placed second with $3.8 million in host income. For purposes of regional comparison, the tourism-centric District of Columbia drew $84 million in host revenue in 2017.
Fifty-eight percent of Maryland’s hosts in 2017 were women, the company said. Asked for additional data showing the racial and ethnic breakdown of hosts, a company spokeswoman wrote in an email, “We track the age and gender of our community, but not race or ethnicity.”
In all of their popularity, short-term rentals remain a controversial topic in Baltimore due to differing regulation policies between them and hotel stays. City Council members in 2016 considered a bill that would have taxed Airbnb stays at 9.5 percent — the same rate paid for hotel stays — but the bill died in committee.
In 2017, council members were set to vote on a proposal that again would have extended that same hotel tax rate to Airbnb rentals and also created a licensing system to effectively prevent homeowners from renting out apartments and houses that aren’t their primary residences. However, The Sun reported that Council President Jack Young, who proposed the bill himself, pulled it from the agenda.
Former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake accepted a gig with Airbnb last year to serve on a paid advisory board of former city mayors.
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