The rental industry is changing. In the last few years, Airbnb has become increasingly popular, especially among young travelers, as an alternative to pricy hotels and a shortage of short-term rentals in the market compared to traditional one-year leases.
Now, refinancing will become easier for Airbnb hosts who have struggled in the past. The company has announced it is pairing up with three lenders—Quicken Loans, Better Mortgage and Citizens Bank—to allow hosts who have rented out their properties for over a year to apply their income toward a refinance loan backed by Fannie Mae.
“At Airbnb, we’ve been able to help many reimagine the home as an asset, a destination and a contributor to the community,” said Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, in a statement. “Today, some of the nation’s largest financial institutions understand that Airbnb is an economic empowerment tool that can generate important income for families, and they are working to recognize this.”
According to Quicken Loans, this partnership will allow Airbnb hosts to capitalize even more from their short-term rentals, as the refinance option can be used to make home improvements and continue investing in real estate.
“Technology is at the heart of everything we do at Quicken Loans, so it is a natural fit for us to partner with one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative companies,” said Jay Farner, Quicken Loans CEO, in a statement. “…We are very excited to be collaborating with the leader in home-sharing and tech-driven property rentals. Airbnb and Quicken Loans are firmly aligned to drive innovation in the real estate industry to dramatically improve and simplify client experience, as well as saving homeowners time and money.”
“We are proud to be working with Airbnb and Fannie Mae to make it easier for Airbnb hosts to reinvest in their most important economic asset, their home,” said Vishal Garg, CEO of Better Mortgage, in a statement. “Better can now digitally underwrite Airbnb income and offer hosts better home financing options than previously possible.”
The collaboration was developed by Fannie Mae as a way for homeowners to maximize their investments. The program only applies to refinance loans—Airbnb rental income cannot be applied toward first-time mortgage applications. In order to apply, owners will need to provide a “Proof of Income” statement from Airbnb, in addition to claiming their rental income on tax returns. If the initiative is successful, Fannie Mae may consider allowing other lenders into the program, as long as the applying hosts do not break any local laws with their short-term rentals.