Pittsburgh accounts for about 400 of the nearly 2,000 listings in Pennsylvania on lodging website Airbnb, according to data from analytics website Airdna. That figure is dwarfed by, of course, by Philadelphia, which has 1,650 listings. Slightly more than half of Pittsburgh listings on Airbnb are for a private room, with about 41 percent listing an entire house or apartment.
The data contains information through June. Last month, Philadelphia began collecting an 8.5 percent occupancy tax from short-term rentals, including Airbnb listings, in preparation for an influx of out-of-town visitors during Pope Francis' upcoming visit. The city joined a list of about a dozen other cities where Airbnb handles the collection and remittance of the occupancy tax.
Airdna provides reports, for a fee, to Airbnb hosts to help them determine if they're getting the best possible price for their rentals, compared to others in a given metro area. The reports are based on data "freely available on the Airbnb website," according to Airdna's methodology statement.
San Francisco-based Airbnb is one of several online short-term lodging rental companies that connect travelers with hosts in private residences who offer a room or an entire house, often for a lower rate than a hotel. The company is valued at more than $20 billion, with an estimated 1.2 million rentals around the world.
Under Allegheny County regulations, Airbnb hosts owe the 7 percent occupancy tax required of "an apartment-hotel which rents certain apartments or rooms for occupancy on a week-to-week basis, or other periods less than 30 days." Anyone hosting a short-term rental here is supposed to register his or her property with the county within 30 days.