Airbnb hosts in rural Michigan counties earned $55 million in 2021, data shows

Airbnb reservations accounted for tens of millions in earnings among hosts in rural Michigan last year.

Data released by the online reservation website shows just how much of a financial boon vacationing in northern parts of the state has been for people that rent out properties. 

Between January and September 2021, 3,100 Airbnb hosts earned approximately $55 million off of reservations. The typical host earned about $10,700 during that time period. 

Grand Traverse County hosts, which includes Traverse City, accounted for a plurality of that figure and the most among Michigan counties. According to the website, hosts made $20 million. The large figure underscores how much money is on the line amid a debate over how much regulating power governments should have over Airbnb houses and other short-term rentals. 

Currently, legislation has been introduced that would limit the amount of control municipalities have over the industry. While proponents argue the importance of private property rights is at stake, others worry what short term rentals could do to the local economy and housing affordability. 

The bills - HB 4722 which was introduced by Rep Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) and SB 0446 Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) - would bar cities and communities from using zoning ordinances to regulate the short term rentals. 

Even Michigan's more populated counties didn't see as much money come by way of rentals:

  • Wayne County - $12 million
  • Oakland County - $9.8 million
  • Macomb County - $1.1 million
  • Washtenaw County - $7.3 million
  • Kent County - $5.8 million
  • Ingham County - $2.1 million