Sydney Airbnb listings to keep up sharp growth in wake of NSW government's support: MadeComfy

Sydney Airbnb listings to keep up sharp growth in wake of NSW government's support: MadeComfy
Sydney Airbnb listings to keep up sharp growth in wake of NSW government's support: MadeComfy

The growth of Airbnb listings is anticipated to see 44,000 entire home Airbnb listings in Sydney by the end of 2017, following an announcement by the NSW government that it supports short-term letting in state.

According to professional short-term rental management service MadeComfy, the declaration provided a clear direction from which homeowners and property investors can continue to let their property on platforms such as Airbnb, and will allow for a year-on-year growth of 85%.

There were 24,000 entire home listings in Sydney on Airbnb at the end of 2016 which is expected to grow to 44,000 by the end of 2017, it said.

The assessment also takes into account that of Sydney’s almost 2 million properties, only 1.2% have been listed on Airbnb at some stage, suggesting there is still room for growth, however, represents only a small proportion of Sydney’s rental market.

The Sydney-based business believes that the Airbnb market will not likely to see an influx of owners listing on the booking platform, but rather take confidence they can continue to do so with more clarity around their rights and responsibilities.

The government announced on April 19 that it accepted nine out of the 12 recommendations proposed by a report that was tabled by a Parliamentary Inquiry into the adequacy of regulation of short-term holiday letting in October 2016. 

It is now seeking further consultation with stakeholders before releasing an options paper on the potential approaches to regulating the short-term rental market.

MadeComfy said on its blog that the step provides much-needed “direction from which homeowners and property investors can continue to let their property on platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz”. 

MadeComfy co-founder Sabrina Bethunin remarked that the renewed support by the NSW government will hopefully result in short-term rentals being a viable option for every homeowner without fear of legal or financial penalties.

“In addition to that, with the median property price in Sydney having reached over 1 million dollars, households are dedicating an average of 44 per cent of their income to service their mortgages,” she said. 

“It means Sydneysiders are considered under ‘mortgage stress’ as they are devoting more than 30 per cent of their income to mortgage repayments. Either by renting a spare room or the whole property when it’s not utilised, for many homeowners, Airbnb and similar platforms provide a means to obtain an income to help cover their mortgage repayments or afford their holidays.”

MadeComfy said a key aspect of future regulation of short-term rentals in NSW would be the state’s response to how it can be undertaken in strata-managed buildings as clear guidelines were missing in its April announcement. 

It is also partnering with building strata managers to provide the professional support needed to mitigate the concerns voiced by the Owners Corporation Network (OCN). A key concern of the OCN was the harmony of guests and residents within shared building environments. 

“Until regulations are legislated, we advise that all owners should adhere to their building by-laws in terms of whether short-term letting is permitted or not,” it said in a blog posting. 

In order to address these issues, MadeComfy said it was seeking to introduce its guest screening process prior to accepting a booking, as well as enforcing strict house rules such as a no party policy and maximum occupant numbers.

The criteria is designed to mitigate against any unruly guest behaviour, providing strata managers and residents with confidence short-term rentals will be managed without negative effects in their building.

Last year, Archers the Strata Professionals had reported that one in three Queensland strata residents were concerned about apartment security from Airbnb guests.

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Sydney Airbnb

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