Report shows benefit of holiday rentals to the Illawarra

A new report highlights the economic impact that short-term accommodation rentals are having on the Illawarra and South Coast. 

Short-term rental accommodation provider Stayz this week released a new report by ACIL Allen Consulting.

It showed that in the South Coast (incorporating the Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama LGAs, among others), short-term rental accommodation generated more than $266.8 million in economic uplift and supported up to 1778 jobs in 2016. In 2016, 307,003 room nights were booked in short-term rental accommodation across the South Coast, generating $62.5 million in revenue for hosts.

Stayz corporate affairs director Jordan Condo. Do you have an interesting real estate story? Please email brendan.crabb@fairfaxmedia.com.au with more details.

Stayz corporate affairs director Jordan Condo. Do you have an interesting real estate story? Please email brendan.crabb@fairfaxmedia.com.au with more details.

Stayz corporate affairs director Jordan Condo said the report showed that short-term rental accommodation (STRA) is a key driver of tourism, job creation and economic activity in the region. 

“Tourism has always been a key part of the South Coast’s economy and short-term rental accommodation is increasingly part of the area’s tourism success story – provided regulation does not limit the availability of this important accommodation option,” he said. “Regional jobs, regional income and regional economic growth will suffer if regulations limit the availability of short-term rentals in NSW.”

In April, it was announced that home-sharing sites like Airbnb will be regulated for the first time in NSW, as the state government seeks to legalise the short-term letting industry. The move follows a NSW parliamentary inquiry in 2016, which recommended allowing home owners to list their properties on platforms like Airbnb or Stayz.

Currently only 12 NSW councils have rules enabling home owners to lease properties for short-term stays via sites like Airbnb.

Others don’t have the provisions to regulate the industry, or have rules making short-term accommodation sharing illegal.

Jackie and Greg Skeen have their self-contained holiday accommodation at Calderwood, Escape778, listed on Stayz, Airbnb and booking.com.

The property, set on 50 acres, is the couple’s primary place of residence.

They started letting out the front section of the house about three years ago.

Mrs Skeen said the model gave them the flexibility to “control when you do it, how long you have guests for”. 

“It’s bringing people to the area,” she said of the STRA industry overall.

“They go shopping at Stockland Shellharbour, they go to restaurants, so they’re putting money into the local economy.”

Wollongong accommodation provider, Emerald & Aqua’s managing director Greg Channer said the growth of the STRA industry in the Illawarra needs a refined approach.

“The impact on the community, consumer protection and safeguarding landlords’ homes while balancing the benefit to the greater community such as employment needs the right mix of regulatory and industry controls,” he said. “Done in consultation with industry and community the development of sensible controls could see a continued boost to the local economy, within a regulatory environment.”