About the study

Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to share accommodations in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. The company does not own any lodging, it is merely a broker. Since 2008 the service has been gaining popularity due to its low prices and direct interaction with the local community. It is a good example of the emerging sharing economy. On the other hand, Airbnb has been accused of driving up property prices and disrupting communities by accelerating gentrification.

There are number of things that affect the prices of Airbnb apartments. The business model of Airbnb is based on percentage service fees (commissions) from both guests and hosts in conjunction with every booking. It takes a 3% cut from hosts and a >6-12% mark up from guests. The cost of lodging is set by the host, who need to consider things such as special events, weekday vs. weekend, how far out the booking is, seasonality, hotel prices, competitor prices, and local occupancy rates.

We wanted study how the prices of Airbnb apartments are associated with distances to green spaces and coastal areas in Helsinki. In other words, what is the best location to stay if you value natural areas in the downtown area?