AirBnB Marks the Houston Zip Codes Where They Think They Can Pay Your Rent

AirBnB Mapping Tool Showing Nightly Income as Percentage of Average Area Rent

This patchy map of the Houston region, from the national tool released last week by Airbnb, shades the area’s zip codes by what percentage of monthly rent could purportedly be covered by a single night of Airbnb rental. The map is the DIY-hotel company’s submission to this spring’s federal call for more public data tools related to housing and economics. And the rental rates used for the comparison come from the so-called small area fair market rates set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which this summer proposed breaking up the flat city-wide rates currently used for Section 8 housing voucher payouts into smaller pieces (with the intent that offering higher subsidy rates in higher income areas might reverse a trend of concentrating housing voucher recipients into already-high-poverty neighborhoods).

Topping the company’s list in Houston is 77018, the quasi-trapezoid covering much of the Garden Oaks and Oak Forest area; the tool says the federal market rental rate for the zone is $830 per month, but that earnings for renting out a private room in the area via Airbnb average around 22 percent of that amount, or $179 a night:


AirBnB Mapping Tool Showing Nightly Income as Percentage of Average Area Rent

Most of the Houston area comes in closer to a 10 percent ratio or well below, though central Galveston hits 13 percent. You can search for your favorite kinda-near-a-major-urban-area zip code here.

Images: Airbnb Opportunity Calculator

AirBnB R&D

3 Comment

  • This is another example of machine-driven data analysis running afoul of common sense. Based on the write-up, the concept is to rent out a spare room in your house or apartment to help pay the rent. There’s no way the average nightly rent for a spare room in that area is $179. I’m guessing that it’s a single outlier data point driving these numbers up.
    The nightly rent for sought-after inner loop zip codes (77098/77019 River Oaks, 77006 Montrose, 77005 Rice Village, 77007 Rice Military, 77008 Greater Heights) all hover around $50-55/night. 77002 (Downtown) is the 2nd highest I could see, at $77/night.
    If you’re paying $179/night to rent a spare room in the GO/OF, you’re a moron.

  • $179 a night in 77018 for a night with Air BNB? highly Maybe that is according to rates people posting on Air BNB are asking, but I cannot see that anyone would actually pay it. Not even for Super Bowl rentals.

  • Interesting that everyone is disputing the $179 / night rental fee. I haven’t looked into it but maybe that is for an entire house, in which case it is a good deal for two or more people.

    What I would dispute is that the rent per month in the area is only $830 per month. How did the Small Area FMR come up with that?