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Spatial Distribution and Location Characteristics of Airbnb in Seoul, Korea

Donghwan Ki () and Sugie Lee ()
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Donghwan Ki: Department of Urban Planning & Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea
Sugie Lee: Department of Urban Planning & Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 15, 1-1

Abstract: The popularity of the sharing economy, including organizations such as Airbnb and Uber, has increased rapidly over the last few years. Regarding Airbnb, several studies have demonstrated potential problems related to it, such as rising housing costs and worsening residential environments. Despite its popularity and possibility of problems, however, the locational characteristics of Airbnb have not been thoroughly examined in the urban planning and public policy fields. Therefore, this study analyzed the locational characteristics of Airbnb in Seoul and identified potential problems in urban planning. First, we analyzed an operation status of Airbnb in terms of the commercial host. After that, we identified spatial distributions of Airbnb and examined influential factors that affected the locational characteristics of Airbnb using a negative binomial regression model. The results of this study are as follows. First, a considerable number of units were operated by commercial hosts, in contrast to the original concept of Airbnb as being part of the sharing economy. This finding indicates that there would be a potential conflict between Airbnb businesses and housing policy in urban areas. Second, Airbnb units were mainly located in residential areas, especially around multiplexes and townhouses. This finding indicates that Airbnb may decrease the availability of housing in the housing market. Third, Airbnb units were located preferentially in areas adjacent to universities or subway stations, as well as in areas with high ratios of single-person households. Considering these characteristics of Airbnb and the directions of government housing policy, urban scholars and policymakers should pay close attention to the potential conflict between the spatial distributions of Airbnb units and housing policies.

Keywords: sharing economy; Airbnb; spatial distribution; location characteristics; negative binomial regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:15:p:4108-:d:252878