Despite strenuous efforts by local government officials to clamp down on short-term rentals, a new report shows Miami Beach is the per capita champion of Airbnb in the entire U.S.
According to a study by the financial advisory firm IPX 1031, Miami Beach had 3,416 Airbnb listings per 50,000 people — the highest of any city in the country.
Florida cities took seven of the spots in the top 10 slots of the study, which ranked a total of 30 cities using statistics from the third quarter of 2019.
Kissimmee, the city that has benefited from its proximity to theme park attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, took the second spot with a rate of 2,880 listings per 50,000 people.
The remaining Florida cities in order of ranking: Daytona Beach (fourth with 1,108 listings), Miami (sixth with 1,034 listings), Fort Lauderdale (eighth with 1,016 listings), Orlando (ninth with 988 listings) and Hollywood (10th with 984 listings).
Collin Czarnecki, the IPX 1031 researcher who conducted the study, said the predominance of Florida cities in the top 10 slots was surprising but ultimately logical.
“Going into the study, you’re thinking about destination cities, so Miami Beach and Miami were not surprising,” he said. “Kissimmee and Orlando make sense because they provide a good alternative to large families who are planning vacations to theme parks and don’t want to stay in a hotel. But other cities such as Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale are a testament to the overall appeal of Florida as a tourism draw, especially with its warm climate during the winter.”
Czarnecki said the study used the per capita rate of 50,000 people to help visualize the prevalence of Airbnbs around the country. In terms of sheer volume of listings, though, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Boston would have topped the list.
Despite their popularity, Airbnbs are technically illegal in Miami Beach. Short-term rentals are outlawed throughout most of the city, with the exception of small pockets along Collins Avenue and Harding Avenue in North Beach.
But although city officials raised the price of first-time violations to a whopping $20,000 in March 2016 — with subsequent violations adding an additional $20,000, to a maximum fee of $100,000 — the popularity of short-term rentals has not waned.
In October, the city was dealt a legal blow by a circuit judge who ruled the $20,000 was in violation of a state law that prohibits code violation fines higher than $1,000 per day.
Miami Beach spokesperson Melissa Berthier said the city plans to appeal the ruling and will continue to enforce its Airbnb laws during the appellate proceedings.