The City of Victoria says there are fewer Airbnb and VRBO listings now compared to December, crediting the decline to new short-term rental regulations. The regulations, which took effect six months ago, allow up to two bedrooms in a shared home to be rented short-term, and in some cases, the entire home can be rented during a temporary absence. The city says as of last month, there were 1,268 active listings in Victoria compared to 1,440 when enforcement efforts began in December 2018. Eligible operators must have a short-term rental business license, eligible if a short term rental is a principal residence or you own a legally non-conforming unit where transient accommodation was a permitted use or a “grandfathered” property. The city says an increasing number of operators have obtained a business licence, while others have removed their short-term listing. According to a city release, there are 675 licenced short-term rentals, up from 528 in the city last year. Of those currently licenced, the city says 322 are business licences for a principal residence short-term rental and 353 are for units where the owner does not live in the unit as their primary home. The changes were brought in as a way to increase housing options and affordability, allowing short-term rentals in ways that do not affect the long-term rental availability. The rental vacancy rate in Victoria edged up to 1.1 per cent in 2018 from 0.8 per cent in 2017, with 1,269 new units built between 2014 and 2018.