Full width project banner image

Short Stay Rentals Australia

Hayden Groves

Sep 07, 2023

Share this article


A recent visit to the Gold Coast on REIA business revealed one of the more vexing issues around rental affordability in Australia. In one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations for both domestic and international travellers, the Gold Coast region has a high number of apartment homes traditionally used as a holiday flat or rented investment properties.

A search of rental homes available across the Gold Coast region reveals about 1800 properties available for lease. By comparison there are some 5500 short-stay properties available. REIA’s analysis shows investors favouring the short stay market for a typical 2-bedroom apartment earn the same income in 156 days compared to a long-term rented property across a twelve month lease.


a deep-dive study into short-stay accommodation


Armed with this information, REIA undertook a deep-dive study into short-stay accommodation (SSA) across the nation which we released this week. The numbers reveal a remarkable level of growth for this sector with 133,968 (81.9 percent of which are entire dwellings) short-stay accommodation places across Australia, an increase of 22.8 percent for the period March 2022 to March 2023.

Tasmania has witnessed the largest increase in SSA places, up an incredible 66.4 percent in twelve months to 4255 properties. Canberra came in second with a 49.6 percent increase in SSA places, followed by Victoria’s 32.4 percent, NSW’s 25.3 percent and Queensland’s 23.7 percent. Here in WA, there are 8,056 SSA places, an increase of 16.2 percent across the same twelve-month period; the lowest growth rate across the nation.

Regional areas have the highest proportion of SSA places, making up 61.2 percent of all properties, with the highest differential between city and regional places found in Queensland (thanks to the Gold Coast and other coastal holiday destinations) at a ratio of 82:18 regional to capital city. In WA, 45.9 percent of SSA places are in the Perth metro area, the remaining 54.1 percent in the regions.

Mature tourism destinations along with those more recently discovered thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, welcome SSA opportunities for visitors with tourists contributing to local economies. Yet, the increase of SSA places has meant fewer properties available to traditional long-term renters with this shortening supply contributing to recent rent increases.

SSA investments can be an appealing alternative to the long-term rental market. In Perth, an average two bedroom dwelling in the rental pool, earns $25,800 per year. The equivalent dwelling in the SSA market, based on average nightly rates, earns the same revenue in just 132 days. In regional WA, the gap in earnings from SSA and a long-term rental is even wider, taking just 107 days for a SSA property to earn the equivalent in the long term annual rental market. However, higher management costs (15-25 percent), no regulatory protections, risk of property damage and increased wear and tear are important considerations for SSA investments.

The ‘gap’ in earning potential between short and long stay renting poses an immediate threat to further deterioration in rental affordability. Longer-term though, I predict the combination of cost of living pressures, slowing domestic tourism, potential excessive supply of SSA and risks associated with the SSA asset class will see long term rental investments regain favour.