- The number of new rentals coming onto the market has soared, with almost 20% more available nationally, according to Domain.
- The figures, supplied to Business Insider Australia, show a huge uptick in certain in-demand areas, such as Sydney's eastern suburbs, and Melbourne's south-east.
- As the coronavirus impacts the economy, Airbnbs flood the market with supply, and demand for rentals wane, renters could be in a great negotiating position, according to Domain economist Trent Wiltshire.
- Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.
The coronavirus' squeeze on short-term rentals, like Airbnbs, looks set to deliver tenants a major win.
The number of new listings has surged in recent weeks, according to Domain figures supplied to Business Insider Australia, as options for renters swell.
"Listings on the rental market jumped pretty much in all states and one of the reasons behind that we think is that Airbnb and other short-term listings are now coming back onto the long-term rental market," Domain economist Trent Wiltshire told Business Insider Australia. "On top of that, we're seeing people are also moving back home and share houses are breaking up because people are worried about their jobs or struggling to pay their rent."
"People have also likely gone back home overseas as well is probably another factor. In combination, we're certainly seeing more rentals hitting the market."
While realestate.com.au declined to share its figures, the overall picture from Domain is pretty staggering. Nearly 40,000 new homes have been listed nationally in the last two weeks, almost 8,000 or 20% more than this time last year.
In Tasmania, Australia's smallest state and one of it's most tourism-reliant, there's been an astounding 58% surge. Meanwhile, the country's three big eastern states, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, have collectively seen more than 30,000 new rentals emerge, a 25%, 21%, and 18% jump on last year respectively.
It comes at the same time that competition for long-term rentals has waned, delivering some much need relief for tenants who for years have struggled to keep up with soaring property prices and rents in the likes of Sydney and Melbourne.
"A lot of overseas workers have also probably gone home in the last few weeks and won't be coming back to Australia for some months, so the demand for housing has also decreased," Wiltshire said. "This is probably going to put some downward pressure on rents, especially in Sydney where rents have already been soft for a while.
"While some renters are facing tough economic times at the moment, there's some good news in that now might be a good time to get a good deal or renegotiate with your landlord."
Particularly now that the government's wage subsidy package will grant many tenants the ability to continue paying their bills.
The figures get more telling as you drill down, however. While real estate agents have been reporting a tide of Airbnbs suddenly reappearing on the market, Domain's data seems to all but confirms the trend.
"The areas that have seen the most number of new rentals are the ones with plenty of short-term stays," Wiltshire said.
"While the number of Airbnbs coming onto the market might not drive down city-wide rents, it will help ease pressure in certain suburbs where the supply of houses and apartments has suddenly grown overnight."
These are the areas where you might be able to find a much better deal.
New South Wales
Take New South Wales, where Sydney's inner city and gilded eastern suburbs have long been Airbnb hubs. Together, they have seen the single largest relative increase in the state's rental listings over the past two weeks. Compared to the same period last year, the number of new apartments for rent has more than doubled in the CBD, while suburbs like Bondi and Coogee have seen more than 2300 new listings, up around 871 on last year.
While Sydney suburbs, from its inner west to its northern beaches, have been flooded with a glut of rentals, so too have other parts of the state popular with holidaymakers, like the Northern Rivers, home to Airbnb-mecca Byron Bay, as well as Port Stephens.
South of the border, Victoria has seen a similar spike. Unsurprisingly inner Melbourne, home to the most Airbnbs in the country, is front and centre of the stats.
Stonnington, the area that captures the affluent south-east suburbs of Prahran and Malvern, along with Melbourne city have both seen listings explode by around 80% on last year.
Nearby Geelong and popular weekender the Mornington Peninsula have also both seen a spike, along with rural areas like Gippsland and Bendigo.
In the sunshine state, rents are more likely to have sunk in those places most dependent on tourism.
There are 55% more listings in Cairns, 38% more in the Whitsundays and 14% in Hervey Bay. It could prove a bittersweet win for local residents however as their local economies are left reeling from the sudden disappearance of the tourist industry.
Meanwhile, there are around 300 more rental options on the Gold Coast, about 250 more on the Sunshine Coast, and 120 more in Brisbane's inner south.
Airbnb did not respond to Business Insider Australia's request for comment.
Disclosure: Nine Entertainment, the licensee for Business Insider Australia, also retains a stake in Domain.