AirBnB’s Latest Change Is Bad News For Your Pocketbook

That lakeside cottage you and your friends want to rent for the July 4 weekend is about to get pricier. That's because peer-to-peer hotel alternative Airbnb just introduced a new calendar that tells hosts when they should up their prices to take advantage of heightened demand. Deciding how much to list a property for is a challenge for Airbnb hosts. It usually takes a lot of Googling to check the rates for similar properties and hotel rooms in the area. But, Airbnb's new host calendar, called Price Tips, makes that process easier by suggesting rental prices for each day. Price Tips, which looks like an airline fare calendar, uses machine-learning algorithms to detect when events like SXSW or a big concert — the kind of stuff that drives up demand — are taking place, and raises the recommended rental price on those days. So if you happen to travel to Las Vegas the same week as ComicCon, you're going to see some insane rental prices (if you didn't already). And, as with hotels, a weekend rental could cost more than a weekday rental. For you renters, the best way to score a deal is to be flexible with travel dates (if you can). Is there anyone out there who doesn't want to price-gouge us these days?

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