Airbnb and the Keys to the City

New York City is no stranger to trends, long-lasting or short lived. Being a young and somewhat new resident of the city, I have felt compelled to not limit myself to one neighborhood and rather experience every community the city has to offer, by living there. I think it is important to explore each and every microcosm to fully understand this city, but the same holds true for any place on the planet.

New York City is also no stranger to the chaos of finding an apartment for a decent price, that is, the New York definition of decent price. It helps, in researching different neighborhoods, to use every resource available.

Airbnb is now ubiquitous among travelers and even longer-term tenants as it offers an opportunity to live through the environment of another’s and allows the renter to stabilize cashflow while away on vacation or work. Following the trends of Airbnb listings happens to be an amazing indicator of which neighborhoods are popular at any given time.

Normalizing the data is very important to gain a clear understanding of the context of the underlying signals. Lets assume that the apartments on Airbnb that are comparable in price are also comparable in quality, which will serve as the normalizer to compare the popularity of the different neighborhoods in NYC. Then, since price is a corollary of demand, I filtered by nightly price to illuminate the popular neighborhoods. This survey of roughly 28,000 listings over the course of 2014 showed that Chelsea, West Village/Greenwich Village, East Village, Williamsburg were the most popular neighborhoods.

It would also be really interesting to observe this data in time series to uncover the hidden alchemy of trends in popular neighborhoods by season. Looks like I have a new project.

Source: NYC Open Data

One comment

  1. […] the time I have been in New York and how I seemingly love to constantly move around the city, it is not entirely clear for someone viewing this to find out where I live, but you can imagine […]


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