What impact does Airbnb have on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets?

An SGS Economics and Planning report found Airbnb has minimal impact on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets. This is the first report 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 listings 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 or 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.

In only a small number of cases, it is more profitable to list a property on Airbnb full time rather than on the rental market. With the exception of Melbourne City, it appears that renting has higher expected takings over a time period of a standard lease agreement. The hosting rate is around 70 per cent for Melbourne City.

Airbnb also does not appear to significantly impact the hotel industry said co-author Laura Schmahmann Associate at SGS Economics and Planning: “Hotel accommodation occupancy rates are high, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, which potentially suggests there is a gap in supply across the tourism accommodation market. Airbnb nightly prices are, on average, cheaper than hotel prices. It is likely that Airbnb has a greater role in addressing a gap in the tourist accommodation market more so than any impact of the availability of rental accommodation in Sydney and Melbourne," she said.

Based on this research, the impact of Airbnb on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets appears minimal.

KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS:

Greater Sydney

  • In 2017, there were, 25,000 listings on Airbnb across Sydney that hosted guests, of which 15,200 were entire homes or apartments. The entire homes or apartment listings represent 0.9 per cent of total dwellings across Sydney.
  • Entire homes or apartments represent 60 per cent of Airbnb listings in Greater Sydney, compared with 38 per cent private rooms and one per cent shared rooms
  • 2,300 listings hosted no guests in 2017.
  • The average nightly price for an entire home/ apartment on Airbnb in Greater Sydney is $150, compared to $59 for a private room and $39 for a shared room.
  • Almost 60 per cent of listings host guests for between one and 30 nights per year. Only 10 per cent host guests for more than 180 days per year.
  • Sydney Inner City had the highest number of listings that hosted guests in December 2017 with 3,213 listings.
  • Blue Mountains, Camden, Carlingford, Hurstville, Mount Druitt, Parramatta and Ryde – Hunters Hill had the lowest number of listings that hosted guests in December 2017 with one listing each.
  • The SA3 with the highest hosting rate for entire home/apartments in December 2017 was Fairfield with 85.7per cent and the lowest was Ku-ring-gai with 43.8 per cent.
  • Pittwater had the highest average nightly price ($389) for entire homes or apartments in December 2017.
  • Pennant Hills – Epping had with the lowest average nightly price ($110) for entire homes or apartments in December 2017.

Greater Melbourne

  • In 2017, there were, 14,500 listings on Airbnb across Melbourne that hosted guests, of which 8,500 were entire homes or apartments. The entire homes or apartment listings represent 0.5 per cent of total dwellings across Melbourne.
  • Entire homes or apartments represent 63 per cent of Airbnb listings in Melbourne, compared with 35 per cent private rooms and two per cent shared rooms
  • The average nightly price for an entire home/ apartment on Airbnb in Melbourne is $125, compared to $49 for a private room and $34 for a shared room.
  • Over 35 per cent of listings host guests for between one and 30 nights per year. Approximately 27 per cent of listings host guests for more than 180 days per year. This is less than 4,000 listings across Greater Melbourne.
  • The SA3 with the highest number of listings that hosted guests in December 2017 was Melbourne City with 3289 listings.
  • Banyule, Boroondara, Kingston, Manningham – West and Wyndham had the lowest number of listings that hosted guests in December 2017 were with one listing each.
  • Keilor, with 87.5 per cent, had the highest hosting rate for entire home/apartments in December 2017 was and Bayside the lowest was with 43.8 per cent
  • Bayside had the highest average nightly price for entire homes or apartments in December 2017 at $212.
  • Darebin - South had the lowest average nightly prices for entire homes or apartments in December 2017 was with $102.

Notes

  • This research has focused exclusively on Greater Sydney and Greater Melbourne. This analysis has not covered properties which are rented on HomeAway (formerly Stayz) or other sharing platforms and does not capture other Australian cities.
  • Analysis was undertaken at the Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Area 3 level.
  • Where annual data is not available, the key statistics are for the peak month in 2017 – mostly December 2017.
  • Other than the number of unique listings that hosted guests, that data is focused on entire homes/apartments.
  • For the hosting rate all areas with less than 10 unique listings that hosted guests are removed.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Click to read the full report:

Airbnb research report