Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.
HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals. John McCutcheon

THE already vice-tight Sunshine Coast property market could be squeezed further as short-term accommodation continues its rise to prominence.

Noosa Council is contemplating what can be done to curb the effect that short-term rentals are having on Noosa's affordable housing stock.

The council met last week to discuss the growth in rentals through companies like Airbnb, with a view to creating a management policy within its new planning scheme, as well as a submission to the Local Government Association of Queensland on the issue.

It came after one councillor said a Noosa Heads landlord had allegedly made $21,000 renting out their unit over Christmas.

"It's a concern for many local governments," Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said.

"We currently have bed and breakfasts in the planning scheme but it does not cover Airbnb."

Cr Frank Pardon said an estimated 2000 properties in Noosa shire were potentially in the short-term rental market.

"I know someone who has a unit at Noosa Heads, who in one month at Christmas made a rental income of $21,000," he said.

The council's concern was the lack of contribution being made to the region, in terms of transport and tourism levies as well as use of council services by short-term tenants.

Mooloolaba real estate agent Kevin Annetts, principal of Kevin Annetts Property, said the rental market was already "very tight" across the region.

He said close to 40% of the Coast population rented, with many newcomers to the region opting to rent before buying.

"As soon as we've got anything good to rent that's priced right, we've got multiple people (applying)," Mr Annetts said.

He said 18 people had recently been vying for one rental, while many were filling out applications online before even viewing properties.

"We're seeing a lot of that," Mr Annetts said.

He expected to see an increase in Airbnb-driven purchases too, piling pressure on the market.

Mr Annetts recently sold a beachfront Alexandra Headland property that had been in a family for 36 years to local investors who were going to do up the property and then put it on Airbnb which he expected would "go nuts".

"I don't even get a chance to rent it," he said.

"I would think so, definitely, it's going to put pressure on all stock."

Airbnb's head of public policy for Australia and New Zealand, Brent Thomas, said their community already paid its "fair share" and had generated additional tax revenue for governments.

"We would support a tourism or bed tax to support local infrastructure and communities, provided it is levied on all accommodation providers," Mr Thomas said.

"Airbnb has entered tax partnerships with more than 275 jurisdictions and collected and remitted nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in tourism taxes globally.

"We are eager to continue to have conversations in good faith with governments, like Sunshine City (Coast) Council, about potential tax partnerships."

Topics:  accommodation business community lifestyle property real estate sunshine coast

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