A landmark report from independent research firm Urbis reveals the short-term rental accommodation sector has no consistent impact on housing affordability.
The Australian-first, peer-reviewed study, identified a range of factors that influence and impact housing affordability, but found no strong relationship between the proportion of homes used as non-hosted short term rentals and rental affordability.
The Urbis report used data supplied by Airbnb to take a comprehensive look at the relationship between short-term rental accommodation and housing affordability.
It found short-term rentals make up only 1 to 2 percent of the total housing stock across the country and highlighted no consistent relationship between the proportion of homes used as non-hosted short term rentals and vacancy rates for long-term rentals. .
The study also identifies locations around Australia with a greater proportion of short-term rentals, such as those with significant tourism and seasonal economies where visitation is vital to the local economy.
“Airbnb welcomes collaboration with governments on sensible regulations for our sector, and this report demonstrates it’s about getting the balance right. Short-term rentals are not the root cause of the housing crisis and adopting the right approach to ensure hosting on Airbnb and the economic activity it creates makes communities stronger.
The research from Urbis supports recent findings from both the Queensland and ACT Governments which shows the impact of the short-term rental sector on housing is minimal and is far more limited than suggested by some.
We’ve long partnered with governments to support policies that protect housing and preserve the economic activity that home sharing generates. We want to continue to work with governments and communities to implement statewide rules as the most sensible way to regulate short-term rentals through initiatives, like property registration schemes, so a sustainable approach can be adopted that benefits both communities and industry.”
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand
The research found approximately 67 percent of Aussie Hosts listed their homes on short-term rental platforms to help combat financial pressures. According to surveys of Airbnb guests and Hosts across Australia undertaken in June and July 2023 around 30 percent primarily use the income generated to make ends meet, 23 percent to maintain and renovate their property, and 14 percent to afford the rising cost of living.
“The report’s insights provide valuable input for policymakers, stakeholders, and the public in understanding the complex dynamics of housing affordability in Australia. It underscores the need for solutions targeting broader economic and housing market factors, rather than focusing narrowly on the impact of the short-term rental accommodation sector.
Our study suggests addressing housing affordability in Australia requires a multifaceted approach with any potential solutions needing to address the larger systemic issues driving the crisis if they are to be effective and impactful.”
Princess Ventura, Urbis Regional Director for NSW
Airbnb has long advocated for sustainable rules for the short-term rental sector in Australia and in 2022 announced a number of proposals including registration schemes, tourism levies, codes of conduct and protections for renters.
The Urbis report used data supplied by Airbnb for listings between January 2016 to December 2022.
Read the full Urbis report here.