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MoneyAirbnb squeezing renters from some 'high-demand' Sydney suburbs

00:45  09 november  2018
00:45  09 november  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

Airbnb not significantly hurting rental affordability in Sydney and Melbourne, report reveals

Airbnb not significantly hurting rental affordability in Sydney and Melbourne, report reveals Airbnb isn't making rental affordability "significantly" worse, but it is reducing the number of properties that are available for long-term renters in Sydney and Melbourne. 

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Airbnb was first hatched as a way for people to make a little money on the side, renting the spare bedroom In San Francisco, some operators can make ,500 per month renting a bunk bed in what is It also launched the Seattle Renters ’ Association, a forerunner of local tenants rights organizations.

Airbnb squeezing renters from some 'high-demand' Sydney suburbs© Peter Braig Coastal suburbs such as Bondi, Bronte and Coogee are in high demand from Airbnb tenants. Short-term letting sites such as Airbnb have taken over up to 15 per cent of potential rental homes in beachside suburbs such as Bondi and Manly, cutting the number of properties available to long-term renters in parts of Sydney.

But the popularity of short-stay accommodation in desirable coastal and inner city pockets has not made it more difficult to rent throughout Sydney as a whole, new research has suggested.

An Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report, published on Thursday, looked at how short-term letting platforms like Airbnb had reshaped housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne.

It said short-stay accommodation platforms were "probably not significantly worsening rental affordability across our major cities as a whole" but had an impact on "availability of rental properties in high-demand inner city areas with significant tourism appeal".

The research found one in seven rental properties throughout "high-demand" inner city and beachside suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne were "commercial" Airbnb listings - whole houses or apartments available for rental for more than 90 days each year.

"In these areas, two factors - decreasing bond lodgement rates, and increasing levels of property vacancy - point to the likelihood that short-term letting is removing properties from the long-term rental market, thereby contributing to increasing unaffordability," the report said.

In Sydney, the majority of commercial Airbnb listings were clustered around Bondi, Bronte, Coogee and Manly, as well as inner city Darlinghurst.

Renters now in the majority in over 40 per cent of Sydney: report

Renters now in the majority in over 40 per cent of Sydney: report More than 40 per cent of neighbourhoods across Greater Sydney now have a majority of renters, making tenants a growing electoral force in NSW. That’s the conclusion of a report by lobby group the Committee for Sydney which maps how renting is on the rise in the city. The neighbourhood with the highest share of renters in Sydney was Parramatta-Rosehill (70 per cent) followed by Warwick Farm (67 per cent). But a swag of inner-city neighbourhoods were also among the ten suburbs with the biggest proportion of renters.

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They made up between 11.2 per cent and 14.8 per cent of rental stock in those neighbourhoods.

In Melbourne, commercial Airbnb listings accounted for between 8.6 and 15.3 per cent of rental stock in the city centre, Docklands, Southbank, Fitzroy and St Kilda.

The report said the impacts of Airbnb on rental supply in Melbourne had been offset by recent substantial growth in apartments, many of which were unoccupied.

An Airbnb spokesman said the accommodation site was "simply not a primary factor in the housing market".

"The Airbnb community represents less than one per cent of the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets."

Lead researcher Laura Crommelin said the research showed a widening the gap between residents who owned property and those who didn't.

Airbnb ends forced arbitration for discrimination and harassment

Airbnb ends forced arbitration for discrimination and harassment Airbnb Inc., following Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc., said it would not force employees who filed sexual harassment claims to settle those cases in private arbitration. 

LONG-TERM renters being ditched by landlords hungry for some Airbnb profits is a problem created by the business, but it could soon be fixed. But with Australia, especially Sydney , in the grip of a housing affordability crisis, that success has also seen landlords in some in- demand suburbs ditch

Rents in some of Sydney ’s hottest Airbnb hotspots are soaring by up to five times as much as city And ordinary tenants are being driven out of some of the city’s former renter -friendly suburbs as “Rents are a lot higher now in Darlinghurst and vacancies are lower and a lot of that is to do with

She said homeowners were likely to benefit financially from renting out their their houses or apartments on such sites, while renters in those in-demand suburbs could be disadvantaged.

"As rental markets in Sydney and Melbourne are unaffordable for lower income renters, even a small reduction in available rental properties is concerning.

"For tenants living in the ‘high demand’ suburbs there could be an increased risk of having their lease terminated if the owner decides it is more profitable or convenient to list the property on Airbnb instead."

Dr Crommelin said there was some evidence Airbnb was reshaping the market for investment properties.

Real estate agents had been cited claiming investors would pay a 2 to 3 per cent premium for properties that showed a higher-yielding Airbnb income stream, she said.

"Similarly, Airbnb property managers told us their businesses have been growing rapidly, as some investors are achieving better returns on short-term letting than long-term rental."

The researchers surveyed 491 Airbnb hosts, with most identifying "some additional income" and "to help cover the cost of owning/renting" as their primary motivation for listing their properties.

The Airbnb spokesman emphasised the typical host in Australia earned "a modest" $107 a week, or $5600 a year - "which we know helps them make ends meet and pay the bills".

The report authors urged closer regulations which would mean short-term letting was mostly allowed provided the host first notified an authority.

The NSW government took steps to regulate the use of home-sharing services earlier this year, flagging a 180-day cap on the number of days empty properties could be rented in Sydney.

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