Agent-Based Simulation of Short-Term Peer-to-Peer Rentals: Evidence from the Amsterdam Housing Market

Arnold Overwater, Neil Yorke-Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Gentrification, displacement and social exclusion are hot topics of debate in the city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. A current phenomena is short-term rentals of private homes. In its peer-to-peer form, this phenomena has grown sharply, facilitated by services such as Airbnb. Its growth has caused controversies among communities in touristic areas of Amsterdam, since it contributes to a changed social fabric, increased housing prices and overall gentrification. In the Netherlands and elsewhere, municipal and national policy makers are interested to regulate short-term rentals. In order to provide insights into qualitative policy effects, we develop a micro-level agent-based simulation. Our spatial model simulates residential migration based on income and house pricing. The underlying economic theory is that of Smith’s rent-gap hypothesis. Our model is among the first agent-based approaches investigating this type of rental market, and the first to model a specific housing market, including social housing, in a geographically accurate way. Simulation analysis shows that the touristic rental market has caused considerable changes in housing prices and population development. We find that more lower income citizens remain in the city centre when regulation of the market is stronger, and that banning the touristic market restrains the overall increase in house prices, compared to the business-as-usual scenario. However, the feasibility of enforcement of regulation, and its libertarian consequences, must be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-240
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Airbnb
  • housing
  • urban dynamics


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