Australia is currently in the grips of a housing crisis with many Australians experiencing significant challenges in housing availability and affordability. One commonly referenced possible cause of this crisis is the growth in the number of short-term rental accommodation (STRA) properties (including Airbnbs) across Australia in recent years. Airbnb engaged Urbis, to research, analyse and explore the relationship between STRA and housing affordability in Australia, with an aim of shedding light on this much-debated but poorly researched topic, and contribute to a better understanding of STRA and its relationship with housing affordability.

As part of our study, we undertook statistical analysis of proprietary Airbnb property data and housing market data to explore and analyse the efficacy of causal links between the growth in the number of STRA properties and negative housing availability and affordability outcomes across the country.

Overall, our analysis found that STRA has no consistent impact on housing affordability across Australia, and therefore other factors must be driving affordability outcomes. In light of these findings, we suggested that any potential solutions to the nation-wide housing affordability crisis need to address the larger systemic issues driving the crisis if they are to be effective and impactful.

Addressing housing affordability in Australia requires a multifaceted approach that targets the larger systemic issues driving the crisis rather than focusing narrowly on short-term rental accommodation.