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Where you can make $30K a year as an Airbnb host

Even in a shared economy, it's still about location, location, location.

Airbnb is making bed-and-breakfast owners out of ordinary homeowners and renters. But where those homes are located makes a difference in how much hosts can expect to make.

In which cities in the U.S. do Airbnb hosts make the most money? And how much can hosts in those cities expect to make? SmartAsset, a financial technology company focusing on personal finance content and orginal research, ran the numbers for 15 U.S. cities and based it on data compiled by Beyond Pricing, a company that helps Airbnb hosts price their listings.

To calculate how much Airbnb owners are making, SmartAsset took average Airbnb private-room prices, average Airbnb occupancy rates and average monthly rents for each of the 15 cities. The analysis finds it varies, but in many cities hosts can do pretty well.

Read the full analysis from SmartAsset and learn about its methodology

If you're looking to rent out a room in a two-bedroom apartment or house, you can come close to or even cover your monthly rent in several U.S. cities. In Miami, San Diego, Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia, for example, Airbnb hosts can expect to make about 90% of their monthly rent or mortgage bill. In Houston, those looking to rent out a room in a two-bedroom home can do even better. The average Airbnb private-room listing there would be enough to pay the entire rent on a two-bedroom apartment or house.

On average, hosts can expect their guests to cover 81% of their rent by renting out a room in a two-bedroom home.

But Airbnb hosts can make a lot more money on full apartment or house listings because rates are considerably higher than those for single rooms. SmartAsset broke out two-bedroom listings and found that after expenses, the average expected annual profit was $20,619-- with a range of about $15,000 to $31,000 a year. The top cities were San Diego - an average profit of more than $31,000 a year - and Miami with average annual profits of almost $28,000. Chicago, Boston and San Jose rounded out the top five.

Pricier cities command higher rates, but the numbers don't always add up to the biggest bottom lines in those cities. San Francisco and New York brought in the highest average rates in the analysis at $247 and $233 a night respectively, but a higher cost of living in those areas put a damper on profits. Still, Airbnb hosts in those cities with average-for-the-area rents or mortgages can expect to make more than $19,000 a year.

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A tip for would-be hosts: Make sure Airbnb is allowed where you live before you try this at home. Cities including New York, San Francisco and Santa Monica have dealt with controversies over how to zone, tax and regulate Airbnb and its competitors. But even if a fight isn’t underway in your city, many landlords and condo associations prohibit Airbnb hosting.

Airbnb was founded in 2008 and has grown to 1.2 million rental listings worldwide today. The company has been valued most recently at $20 billion.

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