A man opening a door of house for rent

Experts Advocate Balanced Approach to Rental Crisis


The Australian rental market has experienced its most significant decline since December 2017, as listings fell by 18.9% in April, as per PropTrack data. The steepest drops in rental listings over the past year have been observed in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, with reductions of 31.3%, 19.2%, and 15.7% respectively. Despite slight increases in rental supply in some regional areas, the total rental stock is significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. With an 11.1% rise in rental prices in capital cities, securing affordable housing for Australian renters has become a pressing issue.

The Green party in Victoria has proposed a bill to regulate the short-stay accommodation industry in an attempt to alleviate rental market constraints. The proposed bill, which echoes restrictions in London and Amsterdam, suggests a 90-day cap on short-stay rentals, potentially converting thousands of short-stay listings into long-term rentals. However, this proposition has been met with criticism from stakeholders such as Airbnb owners who argue that such a move would adversely impact their livelihood and the local tourism industry.

House key with "sold" text
A key door of house for rent

Experts advocate for a balanced solution to the rental crisis, acknowledging both the benefits and challenges posed by short-stay accommodations. Airbnb has put forth proposals for registration schemes and codes of conduct. Measures like a tourism levy and revisiting eviction protection are also under consideration. Governmental efforts, like NSW’s 180-day cap on short-term rentals and Queensland’s ongoing investigation into the market’s impact on housing stock, are indicative of attempts to find equilibrium.

In search of a long-term solution to Australia’s rental crisis, Dr. Alves from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute recommends adopting regulations harmonized across all states, similar to the European Union. Such an approach could entail a nationwide cap on short-term rental days, potentially boosting the availability of long-term rentals for Australians seeking affordable housing.


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