How the rise of Airbnb is turning Sydney into a ‘playground for millionaires and tourists’, experts warn
- Thousands of homeowners in affluent Sydney suburbs are opening their doors
- The cost of a short-stay rental from Airbnb costs more in Sydney than in Paris
- One costs more than $8000 a night while another demands nearly $20,000
- The properties utilise suburbs’ affluent reputations to bump up the costs
Thousands of homeowners in affluent Sydney suburbs have opened their doors to complete strangers.
A quick search of short-term rental website Airbnb shows more than 36,500 homes available for stay in Sydney alone.
But since the city is the 11th most expensive in the world, according to home insurer Allianz, the cost of a one-night stay can be equally taxing on the pocket.
Sydney homeowners are renting out their properties for thousands of dollars, including this villa in Mosman
The average nightly cost of an Airbnb in Sydney is $208, higher than Paris ($177), London ($205), Melbourne ($148), New York ($205) and Hong Kong ($159).
One homestead in Sydney’s eastern tourist destination of Bondi will set you back a whopping $8,000 a night, while another charges just shy of $20,000 for a weekend.
Dr Laurence Troy, a housing policy expert at UNSW, co-wrote a study last year calling Airbnb a provider of ‘illegal hotels at the expense of precious housing’.
Allowing wealthy homeowners to essentially open a hotel ‘transforms a city into the playground of millionaires and holiday-makers’, he said.
Titled ‘Bing Bang Bosh!’, one Bondi bungalow advertises itself as a ‘perfect beach pad’.
The three bedroom home is a five-minute walk from the most famous beach in Australia and features a spacious garden.
The waterside villa house (pictured is the view) advertises itself as the ‘luxury’ experience
However, despite the massive price tag, the garden could wind up being a shared space.
A separate rental property – a granny flat – is nestled away in the corner of the backyard.
‘There is also a granny flat at the back of the house, this is a seperate Airbnb listing and so their may be guests staying here,’ the listing on the bungalow reads.
‘If so, the garden is a shared space!’
Short-stay rentals in Sydney cost more than cities like Paris, Hong Kong and New York
Only one other property on the site comes close to the cost of the Bondi bungalow – a Balmoral beachside villa in Mosman.
One of the most expensive suburbs in the country lives up to its reputation, with the four-bedroom house costing more than $5,600 a night.
However, when trying to book, the minimum number of nights you can lock in is three nights, totalling barely under $20,000 when factoring in additional fees.
The short-stay rental does come with all the amenities of a luxury hotel, but guests certainly pay for them.
Another bungalow in Bondi (pictured) would set a tenant back $8000 every night
The three-bedroom bungalow’s garden could be a shared space if the granny flat is also rented
Airbnb has appeared on the NSW Fair Trading complaint register multiple times in the past year, receiving at least 20 formal complaints in the matter of months.
New laws were passed in August last year in the hopes of regulating rental providers, though they will not commence until later in 2019.
‘Since passing the law, Fair Trading has been working on developing the mandatory code of conduct with key industry stakeholders,’ A SafeWork NSW told the Sydney Morning Herald.