Listings of short-stay rentals on Airbnb and other similar platforms have more than halved – shedding 17,000 properties – in the major metropolitan markets during the pandemic as investors opted to put them back on the long-term rental market during the lockdown.
According the the Australian Financial Review, any reduction in competition from the “shadow” accommodation sector will be welcomed by hoteliers, who are seeing the first green shoots of recovery as domestic tourism revives.
Sydney and Melbourne account for the lion’s share of the national 55 per cent reduction, with 6,827 and 5,484 fewer active listings respectively in the CBD than at the start of the year, according to analysis by short-term rental analytics platform AirDNA and real estate firm Colliers International.
“A lot won’t [come back],” Karen Wales, the national director at Colliers International Hotels, said. “Some people will be more comfortable getting a monthly rent payment”.
October hotel bookings were at 60.3 per cent of the level recorded in 2019, up from 57.7 per cent in September, according to Colliers International. November figures are expected to be even stronger, said its head of hotels, Gus Moors.
“Fast-forward two weeks to mid-November and the volume of bookings is at a similar level to mid-March – just before mandatory quarantining for returning overseas travellers was imposed,” he said.
More than 5,000 hotel rooms have opened or will open between September and March next year, including the W Hotel andin Melbourne, whose grand openings were delayed due to the pandemic.
“Adelaide, Gold Coast and Sydney will each see a quantum of new rooms, but Melbourne tops the list with 2011 new rooms due to open in the CBD and a further 712 rooms across the wider metropolitan over the next six months,” Ms Wales said.
Meriton Properties implemented a similar strategy, having switched 1,200 units from the company's serviced apartment business in Sydney into longer-term rentals as the pandemic began to impact travel.
"When the leases expire or they want to go, I take it back into serviced apartments," Harry Triguboff is quoted as saying.