Airbnb in Melbourne

  • Disruption in the air!

According to Inside Airbnb data, there were 12,083 listings for Melbourne on Airbnb as at 4 September, 2016.

More than half (6,682 or 55%) of the listings on Airbnb in Melbourne are Entire Homes and Apartments – and more than a third (2,503 or 37% of the entire homes) are rented out frequently, for more than 90 nights out of the year (in fact, an estimated average of 188 nights per year!).

Entire residential homes and apartments rented out frequently without the owner or tenant present are a de-facto hotel, and this use of the platform alone puts into question the claims that Airbnb is part of a “sharing economy”. 

The Law 

Short Term Rentals are currently operating largely unregulated in residential properties in the city of Melbourne, Victoria.

High profile attempts by Owner Corporations (backed by the City of Melbourne) to restrict short term rentals under the Building Act or Owners Corporation Rules have been unsuccessful, in rulings by the Victorian Building Appeals Board, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Some owners corporations have been successful in challenging short-stay operators, using their existing building’s rules preventing businesses operating in the apartments, and although it’s illegal for tenants to sublet (or “Airbnb”) their apartments on Airbnb, the practice has been widely reported (here and here).

The Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs appointed a panel in February 2015to look at the impact of short-term letting and make recommendations. According to Docklands News

the panel is being asked to identify the issues; look at the overseas experience; and look at a possible list of solutions which range from legislative changes to self-regulation of the industry.

Airbnb data for Melbourne

Inside Airbnb

Inside Airbnb provides data compiled from the Airbnb web-site for listings available for Melbourne.

A conservative occupancy model has been built in order to estimate Occupancy RatesIncome per Month and Nights per Year. More information on the methodolgy of the occupancy model can be found in the disclaimers.

Inside Airbnb: Melbourne uses the following parameters:

  • high availability metric and filter of 90 days per year
  • frequently rented filter of 90 days per year
  • review rate of 50% for the number of guests making a booking who leave a review
  • An average booking of 3 nights unless a higher minimum nights is configured for a listing
  • A maximum occupancy rate of 70% to ensure the occupancy model does not produce artifically high results based on the available data


Airbnb provides NO PUBLIC DATA to help understand the use of their platform and the impact on cities around the world.

Airbnb also provide NO DATA to cities or states to assist them in ensuring that Airbnb hosts and Airbnb are following the local laws.