Buying a house, renting and Airbnb

Looking to buy a house or apartment? For those on the east coast, 2016 saw median house price rises of 10% in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart and roughly 5% in Brisbane and Canberra. Adelaide saw modest increases of 2.5% while Perth dropped 2.5% and Darwin fell by 10%.

For those renting, new research from University of Sydney suggests that Airbnb is sending consumers packing from affordable rental accommodation in Sydney. “At the time of the research, it was found that in the city of Sydney a total of 1,268 properties were available on Airbnb, which is equivalent to 144 per cent of the city’s vacant rentals.” With or without smashed avocado, that’s a tough bite for many Australians.

On the plus side, the ABC reported today that the housing market is predicted to ease in 2017. Of course, there’s still a lot to look out for - like ‘underquoting’ (find out how you can guard against it), whether renting or buying is the best option, and what home loan to choose.

At CHOICE, we’re interested in your experience with one of the biggest consumer expenditures you are likely to make - your living arrangements. Let us know your experiences in the comments below.


I am not looking to buy a house or apartment at the moment.

I would not consider renting from Airbnb, as I have heard too many “horror” stories from others that have been quite frightening and very costly in the long run.

I am interested in other reader’s experience and ideas on the topic, and look forward to reading their views on the issue.

Cheers Natalie :slight_smile:

While the big banks claim there is no housing bubble in Australia, wage growth vs property prices suggest that things are getting out of whack. In addition, Roy Morgan estimates that there are around 300,000 mortgage holders with no equity in their homes.

Could affordable housing for renters be part of a solution? The aforementioned system caps rent at 30 percent of your weekly income.


I saw John Hewson interview on the weekend and he said that there is a housing bubble, indicating that anyone who doesn’t think there is one is in denial.

Unfortunately the development industry (banks to developers to builders to government) don’t want to use the word bubble as it could rattle the ship…and it is in there interests to talk up the housing market.

In our area in Brisbane, there is a massive oversupply of new units and most unit complexes (old and new) have units (s) for lease. I would estimate the unit vacancy rate of about 15-20% for units within 500m of where we live. There are even more coming on line this year which will exacerbate the problem.

Something has to give.

In relation to Airbnb, have used it for oversea’s accommodation but not in Australia. In Australia we tend to use Stayz as it is cheaper and possibly better search engine. I also have heard of horror stories for Airbnb in Australis such as pating premium rates (when cheaper elsewhere) and party houses.


I note the careful wording from the CBA’s CEO Ian Narev in the first link - “lending at levels we are comfortable with”. Well, it would be interesting to know what would constitute uncomfortable!