Page 992 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the ACT is currently experiencing a housing crisis, with escalating issues of housing affordability and availability;

(b) over the past five years, housing prices in the ACT have increased by 19 percent, more than double the national increase of 8.2 percent;

(c) last year Canberra’s vacancy rates were at an all-time low of 0.5 percent, and have only slightly increased in 2023, remaining well below levels widely considered healthy; and

(d) Canberra rates lowest compared to other Australian capital cities for the number of rentals available for less than $400 per week at two percent of available properties, falling from 10 percent in March 2020;

(2) further notes:

(a) short-term rental accommodation on platforms such as Airbnb or HomeAway interact with local housing market dynamics, including the supply and price of properties available in localised markets for long-term lease, creating potentially adverse outcomes for people seeking long-term rental accommodation;

(b) research estimates that short-term rentals currently make up around two percent of Australia’s housing stock and were up to four percent before the COVID-19 pandemic;

(c) estimates place 1,332 active short-term rentals listed in the ACT, of which 82 percent are entire homes;

(d) a significant portion of short-term rentals in the ACT are properties that would otherwise be available for long-term lease. Investigations in the ACT by YourSay revealed 65 percent of short-term rental accommodation owners would make their entire properties available long-term rent, and 63 percent would make rooms available for long-term rent, if they were not using short-term rental services;

(e) research shows that at a neighbourhood level in Sydney and Melbourne, a high prevalence of short-term rentals in high demand areas impacts the availability of long-term rental properties;

(f) despite being considered part of the share economy, the vast majority of short-term rentals are entire properties being rented for few nights. In February 2019, there was three times as many “entire homes” listed on Airbnb compared to room-only listings across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland;

(g) research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has highlighted the risk that short-term rentals could contribute to greater inequality over time, exacerbate already distorted housing markets in popular urban areas, and increase uncertainty and complexity for people seeking long-term housing;

(h) jurisdictions across Australia have taken regulatory measures to mitigate negative impacts of short-term rental accommodation on local housing markets:

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