More Canadians looking for help to pay their mortgage are turning to short-term rental services like Airbnb, a recent survey has found.
Four per cent of all Canadian households surveyed in the summer of 2016 used a short-term rental service in the past year, but seven per cent of households with a mortgage said they had rented out at least part of their homes, according to data released in February by real estate research firm Altus Group.
Young homeowners and those living in Canada's biggest cities relied on Airbnb the most to make it through each month.
Twenty-two per cent of mortgage-owners under 35 who live in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or Calgary, turned to short-term rental sites to make a little extra cash.
In Toronto, where the average monthly mortgage payment is a hefty $3,300 according to RateHub, hosts spent more than half of their Airbnb rental income covering monthly expenses, Airbnb found in a study.
The study, which was released by the rental company in February, found that 39 per cent of rental income earned by Toronto Airbnb hosts went toward paying the mortgage or rent each month, while 13 per cent went to other regular household expenses like bills or groceries.
There are over 10,000 Airbnb listings in the Toronto area.
However, using services like Airbnb to mitigate the high cost of housing might be a double-edged sword.
Toronto and Vancouver have begun to look at whether or not the service should be regulated, amid concerns that an increase in short-term rentals is worsening the availability of affordable housing in the already pricey cities.
Advocacy group Fairbnb found that nearly two-thirds of Airbnb rentals are from renters that rent out entire homes and apartments, instead of sharing their spare rooms.
"... Torontonians looking for a place to live are losing precious housing stock to Airbnb," the group wrote in a February report.