Anyone who suffers noisy and inconsiderate guests next door and hopes Airbnb will be regulated out of existence is probably wishing for too much. But the more hosts who jump on the Bnb wagon, the more the laws of supply and demand could force tariffs down to make it not worthwhile.
Don’t hold your breath on that though because large volume Australian hosts are shovelling the money in, with one Sydney operator grossing a cool $5.3 million last year. AAP found the figure, which was achieved by an unnamed Sydney management company with 247 properties. and the top ten nationwide host made between $2 and $5.3 million across multiple listings.
The average Airbnb host in Sydney makes $11,150 per listing annually. AirDNA is the company which crunches the numbers and their CEO Scott Shatford recognised that the Airbnb is being increasingly dominated by management companies. However, Sam McDonagh of Airbnb Australia plays it down, insisting that two thirds of listings are still people sharing their own house or apartment.
Mr McDonagh said so-called “next generation property managers” were generally managing people’s homes. “We see that as certainly growing in popularity,” he said.
Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia argues it’s a “misconception” that the sharing platform involves property groups renting out entire apartments full-time. “When we go city by city, country by country, our hosts are everyday average people,” he said in Sydney this week.
Maybe, but some are more average than others. Pushing up the average are people like the host near Byron Bay who took in $3.7 million across 40 properties in the year to October 2017, while in Melbourne one operator made $3.7 million across 158 listings. Someone down the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne in Colac Otway someone made $3.5 million across 80 properties.
NSW has more than 40,000 Airbnb listings – with 25,000 in Sydney alone – but is yet to pass specific laws governing rentals. Instead, they’re left to local councils to regulate.
NSW Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean says a parliamentary inquiry should help “get the balance right”. There are pros and cons to weight up for sure. A Deloitte Access Economics report found Airbnb guests supported over 14,000 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion to the Australian economy.
“We don’t want a holiday accommodation market that’s so over-regulated it puts people off coming here, but people are also entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their homes,” he told AAP in a statement. Any inquiry will be walking a tightrope.