• Written by Thomas Sigler, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, The University of Queensland

Short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb are increasingly displacing hotels and holiday letting agencies as the go-to form of accommodation. The ease of booking it all in seconds on your smartphone adds to the appeal of renting a well-appointed flat in Noosaville, or having basil or turmeric on hand in the kitchen of your Katoomba house. With so many people using Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms in Australia, have you ever wondered just how many Airbnbs there are?

The answer is 346,581. Or at least that’s the number of unique properties listed at least once in Australia between July 2016 and February 2019 (the period for which we have a complete data set for the entire country), with a high of 147,655 listed in December 2018. According to research we presented at the recent State of Australian Cities conference in Perth, we estimate about 4% of the Australian housing stock is, or has been, used as an Airbnb.


Read more: Airbnb: who's in, who's out, and what this tells us about rental impacts in Sydney and Melbourne


The number of listings grew by an average of 2.43% a month over that period. If trends continue, we are likely to have set another record this past December.



Airbnb property listings generally peak in the summer. The exception is in the country’s north. There the peak is in June and July holidays as chilly temperatures in the southern states send visitors to warmer climes.

There’s something for everyone

Airbnb properties come in all shapes and sizes. Just over half (53%) of Airbnb properties can be classed as houses and 37% as apartments. The remaining 10% are considerably more diverse, and include 82 boats, 21 tipis, 26 yurts, 43 train cars and even two lighthouses. You can also book a private island on the Great Barrier Reef, or a treehouse at Cape Tribulation.

The latest available data indicate 74% of listings are for entire homes, 26% are for shared properties and 1% are for shared bedrooms.



Of the total listings, 5% are studios, while 40% have one bedroom, 25% have two bedrooms and the remaining listings have three or more.

The map below shows the sheer density of these listings nationwide. Click here to see a larger version of the interactive map (hover over dots to display the location – the larger the dot, the greater the number of listings).



One remarkable thing about Airbnb is how ubiquitous it has become. Of the 2,292 statistical units (SA2) in Australia, 2,226 had at least one listing. As of February 2019, the average SA2 area had on average 56 listings, but the numbers varied greatly between localities.



The most popular places for absolute number of listings generally fall into one of two categories. Inner cities, like central Melbourne and Sydney, attract visitors year-round.

Holiday destinations, such as the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Mornington Peninsula, tend to have more seasonal patterns.

Too big for policymakers to ignore

A key concern about Airbnb is the degree to which it causes displacement in the conventional rental market and/or disrupts residential neighbourhoods (think of tourists wheeling luggage into your building’s foyer 24/7). While difficult to measure both of these, our data indicate there are basically two types of Airbnb “landlords”: professionals, whose properties are always available, and hobbyists, who are regarded as genuine participants in the so-called sharing economy.


Read more: Airbnb regulation needs to distinguish between sharing and plain old commercial letting


The fact entire home listings have been growing at a faster rate than shared accommodation suggests short-term rentals have been professionalised over time. Increasingly, management companies rather than individuals are leasing properties full-time.

Short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb are unlikely to disappear overnight. Some hotel chains and booking sites have adapted their strategies accordingly by providing apartment-style living alongside conventional hotel rooms.

The sharing economy has expanded tremendously over the past decade. A recent Australian Treasury report estimates nearly one in two Australians earned extra money from sharing economy services in the last six months of 2017. The impact on the economy totalled more than A$15 billion.

Policymakers increasingly need to consider the impacts of Airbnb and other sharing economy platforms. Understanding the complexity of all the pros and cons will be critical to making informed decisions.


Read more: Who wins and who loses when platforms like Airbnb disrupt housing? And how do you regulate it?


Thomas Sigler receives funding from The Australian Research Council and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Radoslaw Panczak was employed for the research project, which was funded by an Australian Research Council grant.

Authors: Thomas Sigler, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, The University of Queensland

Read more https://theconversation.com/ever-wondered-how-many-airbnbs-australia-has-and-where-they-all-are-we-have-the-answers-129003

288 new coronavirus cases marks Victoria's worst day. And it will probably get worse before it gets better

Victoria has recorded 288 new COVID-19 cases since yesterday, the largest daily increase we’ve seen so far.This big jump must have the Victorian government and health authorities very concerned...

Adrian Esterman, Professor of Biostatistics, University of South Australia - avatar Adrian Esterman, Professor of Biostatistics, University of South Australia

Which face mask should I wear?

ShutterstockAustralia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly today recommended people in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire wear masks when leaving the house:[…] If people have symptoms and the...

Abrar Ahmad Chughtai, Epidemiologist, UNSW - avatar Abrar Ahmad Chughtai, Epidemiologist, UNSW

Rising coronavirus cases among Victorian health workers could threaten our pandemic response

ShutterstockOver the past week, we’ve seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers in Victoria.This includes a doctor at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospi...

Rochelle Wynne, Director, Western Sydney Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre, Western Sydney University - avatar Rochelle Wynne, Director, Western Sydney Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre, Western Sydney University

3 Easy Demi-Glace Recipes

Demi-glace holds a very special place in the traditional cooking world. It’s a rich brown sauce used traditionally in French cuisine, and can be used by itself or as a base for other delectabl...

News Company - avatar News Company

Thinking about working from home long-term? 3 ways it could be good or bad for your health

ShutterstockThe coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to work from home, often in less than ideal circumstances.Many employees had little choice in the decision, limited time to prepare, patchy t...

Carol T Kulik, Research Professor of Human Resource Management, University of South Australia - avatar Carol T Kulik, Research Professor of Human Resource Management, University of South Australia

why NZ's law lacks necessary detail to make a fully informed decision

Photographee.eu/ShutterstockWhen New Zealanders go to the polls in September, they will also be asked to vote in a referendum on assisted dying.Parliament already passed the End of Life Choice Act in ...

Rhona Winnington, Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology - avatar Rhona Winnington, Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology

New Horizons - 5 Place To Look For Commercial Real Estate Opportunities in 2020

Despite the doomsday talk of recession and the economy grinding to a halt, the commercial real estate outlook for 2020 continues to be positive. With higher yields than residential property, lon...

News Company - avatar News Company

During COVID-19, women are opting for 'freebirthing' if homebirths aren't available. And that's a worry

from www.shutterstock.comThe pandemic is prompting some Australian pregnant women to give birth at home without a midwife or registered health provider, according to a survey out this week. Another ne...

Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery, Associate Dean Research and HDR, Midwifery Discipline Leader, Western Sydney University - avatar Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery, Associate Dean Research and HDR, Midwifery Discipline Leader, Western Sydney University

Melbourne's second lockdown will take a toll on mental health. We need to look out for the vulnerable

ShutterstockMetropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are beginning another six weeks of lockdown due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. While this second round of lockdown may bring the case numbers under...

Louise Stone, General practitioner; Clinical Associate Professor, ANU Medical School, Australian National University - avatar Louise Stone, General practitioner; Clinical Associate Professor, ANU Medical School, Australian National University



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion