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We Live Here

08 Mar 2018

Startling Airbnb listing statistics

New data on Airbnb listings for Melbourne has shown that between 2016 and 2018 there has been a 132 per cent increase in listings for metropolitan Melbourne and a whopping 186 per cent increase in listings within the City of Melbourne, see Table 1.

The figures were extracted and analysed especially for We Live Here by New York-based Australian Murray Cox, the creator of InsideAirbnb.com who is back in Australia on a short visit.

As many of you will know InsideAirbnb.com is the website that analyses Airbnb’s publicly available data and makes it available for anyone to use.

Not surprisingly Mr Cox has been referred to as Airbnb’s “public enemy number one”, but for those of us around the world trying to get a handle on the ever-increasing problem it is gold and we are very grateful to him for providing us with this up-to-date information.

We Live Here’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Short-stays (March 2017) included data for 2016 that was extracted from InsideAirbnb.com. A total of 56.6 per cent of all listings were for entire dwellings and 38.9 per cent of hosts were multi-listing.

These percentages from 2016 were applied to the data from 2018 in the above table (and there is nothing to suggest that anything has changed in the meantime). The results are shown in Table 2.

These results are shocking and fly in the face of Airbnb’s own mantra that their business is only about “mums and dads” renting out a room in their own home!

These data of course don’t include all the other on-line booking platforms or the short-stay operators who for years have been running commercial short-stay businesses in residential buildings not designed for them, and not paying their due taxes, etc.

It all adds up to an industry out of control that is rapidly turning Melbourne into a city of ghettoes in the sky, with the pain now spreading to the fringes of Melbourne such as the Mornington Peninsula.

When will the government start to listen to us?

It is time for Planning and Consumer Affairs to get together to address this issue, as their counterparts in NSW are doing.

San Francisco is an example of how short-stays can be regulated in apartments.

Finally

Jane Garrett for Lord Mayor of Melbourne … Tell her she’s dreaming!

Jane Garrett, formerly Minister for Consumer Affairs, was responsible for introducing the Owners Corporation Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Bill, 2016 (the Bill) into Parliament in May 2016.

Evidence shows that the government colluded with AirBnB in producing this legislation.

Ms Garrett was photographed shaking hands with Airbnb’s Sam McDonagh following the announcement of the Bill.

Airbnb’s Brent Thomas announced on Melbourne radio that it had partnered with the government on the Bill, declaring it was the “best legislation anywhere in the world”.

We now wonder if Airbnb might be trying to infiltrate the council.

When interviewed about her plans to nominate for Lord Mayor, Ms Garrett said that it had been “raised by others” – could it be Airbnb using her to get a toe-hold into the City of Melbourne? The residents of Melbourne deserve better than a Lord Mayor who will destroy the fabric of living in strata communities.

So unless she comes and talks to us and convinces us otherwise, We Live Here would not want her to represent the City of Melbourne on our behalf.

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