Data confirms short-term rentals tiny fraction of Tassie housing market

Unoccupied dwellings eclipse short stay lettings in greater Hobart and Tasmania.

New data released by the Tasmanian Government has confirmed that short-term rental accommodation represents only a tiny fraction of the state’s housing market, as Tassie hosts continue to play a huge role in growing the state’s economy.

Data collected as part of the Government’s new laws shows that the vast majority of short-term rental properties across Tasmania  – about two-thirds – are primary residences or have historically been granted approval by their local council to run visitor accommodation, such as a bed and breakfast.

Non-primary home listings with planning permits account for just 0.77 percent of the overall housing market in greater Hobart (consisting of Hobart, Glenorchy, Clarence and Kingston), when considered with the latest Census data. For the whole of Tasmania, that figure is only 0.84 percent. 

To put this in perspective, this means that there are 11 times more unoccupied dwellings in greater Hobart – and 16 times more than the the whole of Tasmania – than there are non-primary home listings with planning permits, according to the latest statistics.

Derek Nolan, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Australia, said the data provided the clearest picture yet of how short-term rental accommodation interacts with Tasmania’s housing market.

“The thousands of local Tasmanian hosts on Airbnb represent a key pillar of the state’s economy and play a pivotal role in growing jobs and addressing visitor accommodation shortages during big events,” he said.

“Airbnb ensures communities in every corner of the state can benefit from the growth of Tasmania’s tourism economy and that valuable tourist dollars and jobs are not lost to the mainland.

“The data released today also confirms that as Airbnb continues to grow the economy, it’s also having a minimal impact on the housing market. Short-term rental listings that require a planning permit represent just 0.77 percent of the overall housing market in greater Hobart and 0.84 percent in Tasmania – a tiny fraction that is extremely unlikely to have any material impact on affordability. 

“Comparing these figures to the number of unoccupied dwellings is very telling, with unoccupied dwellings eclipsing the number of short term lettings. 

“In fact, many Tasmanians share their spare room or the whole home when away on holidays to help keep up with the cost of living or pay off their mortgage. The data shows that the majority of hosts are sharing their own primary home.

“Housing affordability is a complex issue, with many driving factors such as the population boom, increasing student numbers, and a lack of new homes to meet that demand. Home sharing represents a small percentage of the overall housing market.”

Mr Nolan said Airbnb was committed to continuing to work with the Government and other community stakeholders to grow local tourism and support the new fair and balanced rules.

“The Government’s fair and balanced handling of a critical pillar of the Tasmanian economy has helped secure the future of tourism, while also ensuring compliance with local short-stay and planning rules,” he said.