First Free Story (1 of 3)

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Earlier this month Skift took a deep data dive into Airbnb’s listings in New York City, in what was the first instance of a third-party taking a data-driven look at how hosts and guests interact on the site.

Our first story looked at the most popular types of listings on the site and found that while shared spaces represented only 2% of listings and private rooms 42%, listings for entire apartments made up 66% of active listings on the site. The second story looked at eleven hosts in the city that had listings to their name in the double-digits.

One conclusion from both stories is that Airbnb still relies on the type of short-term rentals that the state of New York has deemed illegal, and that leases, co-ops, and condo boards restrict. They’re also the target of a probe by the New York State Attorney General.

But it also noted that the most popular neighborhoods were ones in which few hotels do business.

Listings Landscape

Unlike rooms sold by hotels, visitors are as likely to find a listing on Airbnb in some residential neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens as they are to find one in Midtown Manhattan. Much like the residents that make up the city, the listings on Airbnb are diverse, disparate, and at income levels that range from a sub-$30 shared bedroom in Bed-Stuy, to a $10,000 a night mansion on the Upper East Side.


Exactly how many are in New York is not clear. On the main New York neighborhoods page, Airbnb states that there are 34,257 listings. After diving into the website on multiple occasions in December and January, our partner Connotate never found more than 19,600, just a little more than half of what Airbnb claims it has in the city.

The discrepancy is present on Airbnb, too. Take Soho, for instance. The neighborhood page promotes the listings with the line “See 1,135 places to stay,” but when you follow the prompt and begin an open search, there are 280 listings to choose from. The discrepancy was  extreme in the case of Soho, but the number on the neighborhood page is always considerably higher than it is when a user begins a search.

Airbnb has not responded to questions seeking to clarify which of these numbers is correct. It claimed in December that it had 550,000 listings worldwide.

Listings Vs. Reviews

One of the leading reasons why Airbnb saw such rapid success is that it demystified the process of renting a place from a stranger. By integrating Facebook’s social graph and then verified identities, it gave users assurance that their host, or their guest, was likely not a creepy loner. The very low rate of incidents between hosts and guests has demonstrated this works rather well.

The second half of this is reviews by guests and hosts. They make users feel safe about sleeping in a strangers place, and allow both sides of the transaction to rate one another. Listings with multiple reviews are a good barometer for rental activity on a listing.

While we’ve added up the number of listings per neighborhood, below, we’ve also looked at which neighborhoods appear to be most active based upon user reviews. This allows us to see that while Alphabet City may not have as many reviews as the Upper East Side, more users are writing reviews on their stay in that neighborhood. It also tells us that Harlem, which is one of the five leading Airbnb neighborhoods by listing volume, is also one of the most popular by number of reviews.

It also tells us that Morningside Heights is no user favorite.

12 Most Popular by Percentage of Listings With Reviews

NeighborhoodNumber of ListingsListings With ReviewsPercentage of Listings With Reviews
Alphabet City44735579%
Red Hook332679%
Cobble Hill302377%
Brooklyn Heights1027473%
Lower East Side72652472%
East Village65947472%
Fort Greene21515572%

10 Least Popular by Percentage of Listings With Reviews

NeighborhoodNumber of ListingsListings With ReviewsPercentage of Listings With Reviews
Morningside Heights933335%
Midtown East34713639%
Battery Park City1004040%
Financial District35316647%
Kips Bay41921952%
Windsor Terrace593153%
Washington Heights39221455%
Civic Center251456%
Flatiron District25414758%
Upper East Side1,09166861%
Gramercy Park22814061%

Source: Skift/Connotate

All the Neighborhoods

Below is our compilation of listing information by neighborhood and borough. We can see that Manhattan is easily the largest neighborhood by sheer numbers, followed by Brooklyn and Queens.


NeighborhoodNumber of listingsListings with reviews
Long Island City9060
Jackson Heights6138

Source: Skift/Connotate


NeighborhoodNumber of listingsListings with reviews
Crown Heights491304
Park Slope390258
Clinton Hill343234
Fort Greene215155
Prospect Heights183127
Lefferts Garden167106
Boerum Hill13897
Carroll Gardens12780
Brooklyn Heights10274
Downtown Brooklyn8254
Windsor Terrace5931
Red Hook3326
Cobble Hill3023

Source: Skift/Connotate


NeighborhoodNumber of listingsListings with reviews
Upper West Side1,276853
Hell’s Kitchen1,119713
Upper East Side1,091668
Lower East Side726524
West Village730494
East Village659474
Alphabet City447355
East Harlem374251
Greenwich Village349235
Washington Heights392214
Kips Bay419219
Financial District353166
Flatiron District254147
Gramercy Park228140
Midtown East347136
Times Square/Theatre District7246
Battery Park City10040
Morningside Heights9333
Hudson Square3726
Meatpacking District3323
Civic Center2514
Murray Hill52
Little Italy31
Union Square20

Source: Skift/Connotate

A Note About Numbers

Airbnb’s main New York City page says it has over 34,000 listings spread between 60 neighborhoods. This is different than our total of under 20,000 listings. It appears that this discrepancy is due to Airbnb counting listings twice that are in overlapping neighborhoods. For instance, on the site all locations in the South Street Seaport area are also listed in the Financial District. Our neighborhood count listing numbers are lower for some neighborhoods, like Times Square that overlap with larger neighborhoods, like Midtown.


Tags: airbnb, nyc, sharing
Photo Credit: Manhattan has the lion's share of New York City's Airbnb listings. Skift