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Airbnb downside outweighs its positives, says property pundit

By Tim Neary
09 October 2018 | 9 minute read
airbnb phone 850

Despite having some upsides, Airbnb will continue to put unnecessary pressure on the rental market in particular and on housing affordability in general, one commentator is claiming.

RiskWise Property Research CEO Doron Peleg said that while in some areas Airbnb can help absorb an oversupplied rental market, in other areas it has the detrimental effect of increasing house prices.

“On top of that, those looking for long-term tenancy simply can’t afford to pay the same rates as those taking short-term lets while on holiday,” Mr Peleg said.

He said that Airbnb had proved a lifeline for investors unable to find tenants in an oversupplied rental market, such as inner-city Melbourne.

However, at popular holiday destinations such as Bryon Bay, the service had helped force long-term tenants out of the market and increased property prices.

“In areas such as these, and particularly in beachside suburbs, we see the overall demand for properties by investors and owner-occupiers going up,” Mr Peleg said.

“Investors know they can use the property for Airbnb and many put in place leasing contracts that only last 10 months, so they are vacant during summer for the holidaymakers, and this supports the demand for properties.”

Mr Peleg added that when home buyers try to enter the market, they are faced with competition from investors, which drives prices up.

“And those looking for long-term leases generally aren’t keen on moving every few months due to Airbnb, so then that also encourages them to buy, which again means there are more competing for properties and pushing prices up.

“It’s a phenomenon which we are seeing around the world.”

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