SGS releases Australian-first study on Airbnb's impact on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets

A recent SGS Economics and Planning study found that Airbnb has minimal impact on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets. This is the first study in Australia to use official Airbnb data.

Report co-author Terry Rawnsley, Principal and Partner at SGS Economics and Planning, said the research provides an accurate picture of the number of Airbnb listings and how often these listing host a guest: “Across Sydney and Melbourne, Airbnb listings represent a very small proportion of the total dwelling market. In 2017, there were approximately 25,000 listings in Sydney and 14,500 in Melbourne which hosted guests. Of these, 15,200 were entire homes/ apartments in Sydney and 8,500 in Melbourne. This represents 0.9 per cent of all dwellings in Sydney and 0.5 per cent of all dwellings in Melbourne," he said.

The hosting rate of Airbnb listings in Sydney and Melbourne is less than 50 per cent on average. This means that each listing has a less than 50 per cent chance of being booked compared to its availability.

In Sydney, the median number of nights hosted per year has increased from 18 nights in 2014 to 20 nights per year in 2017. Of listings that have hosted guests, almost 60 per cent of these host guests for up to 30 nights per year. Only 10 per cent host guests for more than 180 nights per year. This is less than 2,500 listings across Greater Sydney.

In Melbourne, the median number of nights hosted per year has increased from 42 nights to 66 nights per year. Of the listings that have hosted guests, over 35 per cent of listings host guests for up to 30 nights per year. Approximately 27 per cent of listings host guests for more than 180 nights per year.

"Broadly speaking, it is not financially beneficial to host a property on Airbnb instead of renting to a long-term tenant," said Mr Rawnsley. Based on the research, the impact of Airbnb on the housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne appears minimal.

Click to see key research findings and download the full report: