Australian governments are treading lightly around Airbnb

Australia, and particularly Sydney, are gripped by a housing affordability crisis. So the NSW government’s omission of any concrete commitment to monitor the conversion of permanent rental housing to holiday accommodation, like Airbnb and Stayz, is concerning. It would seem regulators in NSW and many other states in Australia are out of sync with their international counterparts, who have made a clear distinction between home sharing and the loss of rental supply in their property markets.

Rising complaints about tourists in residential apartments and homes prompted a NSW Parliamentary inquiry into the adequacy of regulation of short term holiday letting. Since the inquiry concluded in mid 2016, Sydney’s Airbnb listings alone have grown from around 15,648 to reach a total of 24,038 homes by April 2017.

Over approximately the same time, 24,469 new apartments were completed in Sydney. These figures are not connected but highlight the changing ways that homes are being designed, financed and used in high density urban and suburban settings. Read more

Nicole Gurran and Peter Phibbs – The Conversation – 20 Apr 2017