COVID-19 presented a unique set of circumstances for all accommodation providers, many adapted creatively to the loss of tourism but the pandemic also revealed an interesting side effect… The huge impact of active Airbnb properties in residential neighbourhoods unfolded and the real effect that Airbnb’s have on long-term rental prices and homelessness highlighted.
“The correlation between reduced Airbnb activity and increasing long term rental supply is observable.”
The conversion of Airbnb’s back to long term rental is thought to have been motivated by the stability of long-term rental revenue in the absence of tourism, and this has driven down the number of listed Airbnb listings observed.
The report concludes: “The implication for policymakers is that the impact of increasing Airbnb activity on housing markets can be potentially reversed, presenting an important consideration in the context of housing affordability which is a challenge facing many global cities.”
Finally, the report calls for further studies to be made and also questions whether the downward trend identified of short term Airbnbs may just shift to new locations outside of the city for instance to regional NSW. Suggesting: “Airbnb effect may not be reversed, merely shifted to new tourist locations”.
Homelessness in Australia increased by 13.7 percent in the five years leading up to the ABS Census in 2016 and one in every 14 live on the street. NSW has both the largest and fastest-growing homeless population and since COVID-19 women over 45 are at greater risk of homelessness.
According to Homelessnessnsw.org, “evidence shows the pandemic and associated lockdowns have increased rates of domestic violence, mental distress, housing stress and hurt the academic performance of disadvantaged children”.