THE STATE Government has completed a review of short-term accommodation in Queensland, finding that the number of short-term accommodations (STAs) in the Whitsundays is one of the highest in the state.
However, that has very little impact on rental availability, according to the review.
Short Term Accommodations (STAs) are an increasingly popular alternative to hotels, where homeowners post their properties on websites such as Airbnb and Stayz – and visitors to the region rent out the house for a short period.
It has long been debated whether STAs are taking homes out of the long-term rental market, while sitting empty in non-peak seasons, and putting further strain on the housing crisis.
In the first quarter of 2023, there were roughly 19,773 active STAs across Queensland. Of those, 11,193 were estimated to be used on a permanent basis.
University of Queensland, as an independent body, was engaged to assess the impacts of STAs on housing across different communities.
Whitsunday Regional Council has voted to knock back several applications for Short Term Accommodations in the Whitsundays recently – largely because councillors want to see more families find secure, long-term rentals first.
However, the review conducted by the State Government found that lack of housing was to blame for lack of affordability and availability, and that STAs have a limited impact on rental affordability.
The review found that a 10 per cent increase in the overall number of houses could lead to a significant reduction in rent prices, ranging from one per cent to two per cent.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the review highlighted the need to increase housing options.
“The review found no clear alignment between the suburbs with the highest rent increases and the percentage of dwellings devoted to short-term rental. Instead, dwelling stocks emerged as the significant contributor to explaining rental prices,” he said.
“These results show that, while short-term rentals can affect rental affordability to some extent, its impact is limited.
“The review emphasised the vital role of housing availability and supply in rental prices, highlighting the importance of having enough housing options for our community.”
That being said, the State Government is considering creating a register of all STAs in Queensland.
“We have committed to looking into the implementation of a short-term rental registration system, which is a key recommendation of the review,” Deputy Premier Miles said.
“A registration system could serve as a tool to support local governments in monitoring short-term rental activity and could provide invaluable insights into its impact on our housing market over time, to inform evidence-based regulation.”