Holiday stay

Why finding a vacation stay in New South Wales will be twice as difficult

Thousands of short-term rentals in NSW have been suspended from major online distribution platforms after failing to register their properties for the state government’s mandatory short-term rental registration program before the deadline of November 1, potentially creating a shortage of products just as regional tourism begins to boom.

According to the NSW government, only 26,000 short-term rentals were recorded as of Monday, which is significantly lower than the Australian Short-Term Rental Association estimate that there are between 50,000 and 80 000 short term rental properties.

Regional bookings have rebounded since it was announced that travel across NSW could resume, also from November 1.

Booking site Stayz reported its best online traffic in over six months last week, while Colin Hussey of Byron Bay accommodation management company A Perfect Stay said bookings had gotten “mental.”

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Mr Hussey said summer bookings are very large and the region is heading towards occupancy rates of around 90%, at a time when Byron Shire Council is trying to reduce the local accommodation cap from 180 to 90 days.

While this is settled, Byron Shire was excluded from the new policy until January 31, 2022.

Under the new rules, there is a 180 day limit for short term rental properties in greater Sydney, Ballina area, Newcastle, Dubbo and the Clarence and Bega valleys, but no stay limit anywhere else. .

All properties must register with the state government and comply with new fire safety regulations that take effect March 1.

Luke Walton, executive director of local government and economic policy at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, said the government wanted to influence investment decisions by introducing stay limits in certain areas.

“This policy is designed to give us access to the right data to make informed decisions, truly understanding the impact of short-term rentals on local housing markets,” he said.

Mr. Walton said that when homeowners “make these investment decisions about a good return, the daily caps can influence them” on whether to put their property on the market in the short or long term.

Online platforms Airbnb and VRBO, neither of which will list unregistered properties, said more than 50% of their active hosting partners have signed up.

“We have seen a late increase in registrations and we are still working very hard to involve the latecomers,” said Eacham Curry, director of corporate and government affairs at Expedia Group.

“I think it’s a recognition that with the return with fewer restrictions, people want to travel, and I think our partners have been keen to reopen their properties.”

The new laws, in particular the arbitrary imposition of stay limits in some areas and none in others, were the subject of a new attack on Monday from the NSW local government, whose members will have to enforce rules in which they played no role.

President Linda Scott said: “Boards continue to be deeply concerned about the impact of the government’s new short-term rules. “

Ms Scott argued that local government areas should have the right to set their own accommodation caps in response to the unique circumstances of each area, rather than being forced to adopt the ‘one size fits all’ government approach. .

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