Palm Springs home market choked by short-term rental rules

Investors who once saw promising returns in Palm Springs’ short-term rental market are facing challenges. Restrictions on short-term rentals in the popular Coachella Valley area have led to a stagnant housing market in sought-after neighborhoods, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Properties are lingering on the market for extended periods, and investors who seized opportunities during the pandemic are now grappling with substantial financial losses. The rise of Airbnb in 2008 revolutionized the rental landscape, but concerns arose as cities observed a decline in available housing due to short-term rentals.

Critics argue that Airbnbs diminish affordable housing options, while residents complain about an influx of tourists, noisy gatherings, and conflicts between hosts and renters. Consequently, several cities have implemented regulations to curb short-term rentals. For instance, New York permits such rentals only if the host is present throughout the stay, while Los Angeles mandates a Home Sharing Ordinance limiting primary residence rentals to 120 days annually.

In Coachella Valley, cities like La Quinta, Cathedral City, and Indian Wells have prohibited new short-term rental permits. Palm Springs, known for its tourism appeal, adopted a unique approach to preserve its character amidst the rise of platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and RentCafe. The City Council established an ordinance in 2022 that restricts the number of rental certificates in each neighborhood to 20% of its residences.

Currently, ten Palm Springs neighborhoods have surpassed this limit, with owners facing lengthy waiting periods for rental licenses. The inability to transfer licenses to new property owners has disrupted the plans of many buyers who invested in properties for short-term rentals. Real estate agents note a decline in home values in these neighborhoods, with limited interest from potential buyers.

Efforts to challenge the rental cap have been made, but the majority of residents have adapted to the new regulations. To provide an alternative, the city introduced a junior vacation rental certificate open to all homeowners, enabling up to six annual rentals for a fee of $642, regardless of the neighborhood’s cap restrictions.

© 2023 BENNION DEVILLE HOMES | DRE# 01325548. All rights reserved