THE rapid growth of short term housing lets, like Airbnb, in Glasgow is having an impact on housing in the city an MSP has said.

Anas Sarwar, Glasgow Labour MSP asked the Scottish Government Culture Secretary what is being done to ensure more short term lets are not reducing the availability of housing.

He pointed to recent figures which show Airbnb flats in the city have increased by almost 50% in a year.

Mr Sarwar said: “Recent evidence released by the Scottish Government revealed that there were 2,200 Airbnb listings in Glasgow in July 2017 – a 45% increase on the last year.

“Shelter Scotland have expressed a concern that short-term lets may be “exacerbating the existing housing crisis”.

Fiona Hyslop, Culture Secretary, said: “It is a very important point. Sustainability for the tourism and housing market is important.”

She said a short term lets working group have been engaging with communities and regulations brought in by Glasgow City Council for the sector in 2017 are already having an impact.

She added: “Overall there has to be an integrated approach.”

Housing Campaign group. Shelter Scotland. has been concerned about the rise in Airbnb and the effect on the housing market.

It fears that many previous residential properties are being turned into short term lets.

As short term lets become more attractive financially for owners rather than renting as a permanent home choice for tenants is limited and can lead to higher rents.

Figures released this month show that Airbnb listings rose by 45% in Glasgow in the last year to a total of 2,200.

Shelter fear it could be pushing people into renting properties they can’t afford increasing debt and their risk of homelessness.

It the report, Shelter said: “We are concerned that an increase in short term lets is exacerbating the existing housing crisis.

“It is vital that we have enough secure and affordable housing in Scotland. If short term letting continues to grow, this access to affordable housing will be under threat for even more households.

“Shelter Scotland supports greater regulation on short term letting platforms such as Airbnb, to ensure that communities are protected, and housing supply is not negatively affected as a result of this growth.”