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ROOM FOR RENT: Airbnb market takes off in Toowoomba

AIRBNB places are popping up in Toowoomba faster than ever before, with dozens of properties turned into short-term accommodation in the past 18 months.

Development planners and the Toowoomba Regional Council have been dealing with dozens of people both enquiring and applying to make their houses Airbnb-ready.

Director at Precinct Urban Planning Andrew Bullen said more Toowoomba residents had contacted him over the past year to find out how they could get on board.

"We've noticed a definite upswing (in enquiries)," he said.

"I would probably say 18 months ago we rarely had a person with a private dwelling (wanting to apply for short-term accommodation), but with Airbnb coming in and people being more aware of it, we've then found people see the opportunity and jump in.

"Now we've getting 10 to 20 enquiries, half of those proceeding to application."

Would you rather stay in an Airbnb or a motel/hotel?

This poll ended on 03 March 2017.

Current Results

Airbnb

27%

Motel/hotel

45%

I don't care - whatever is cheapest

27%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The most recent of these applications was approved by council this week, with a three-bedroom house in East Toowoomba changing its use from residential for short-term accommodation.

However a council spokeswoman told The Chronicle a resident who only rented out a room in their family home might not need to apply. People with investment properties would most likely need to check with development planners.

Mr Bullen said the reason for the popularity increase was due to Toowoomba's unique location.

"There is a stronger demand for it here, more than other places," he said.

"The reason for that in part of it is tourism, but also because Toowoomba acts as a service area for a rural catchment.

>> CHECK OUT THESE 7 GORGEOUS ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAY STAYS IN TOOWOOMBA<< 

"You'll often get people coming in from the country, and a lot of those people want a self-contained place rather than a hotel room."

A search on Airbnb.com.au revealed anywhere between 80 and 110 rooms or properties available to rent out in Toowoomba, depending on the date.

Airbnb host Rachel Denning, who rented out her family home in Drayton on and off, said she'd noticed a big jump in the overall market.

"I must admit the Airbnb market has really picked up (over the last 18 months)," she said.

"I got a booking two days after I started, but it was quiet to start and now it's busy.

"I get a lot of people with the university - in April I've people who are doing summer schools at USQ.

" Rach's Place" - New Unit

Drayton, QLD, Australia
This new, modern 2 bedroom unit is near everything that Toowoomba has to offer. It is our family home that we let out during our time away. It has everything to make your stay comfortable. Close to...

"Peak periods are definitely September with the Carnival of Flowers - we were booked out 25 nights of the 30.

"We get a lot of people for weddings."

 

But she said the market had its slow periods, especially between December and January.

"It has its quiet moments, so it's certainly not something you could rely on as a primary income," she said.

"It is good for extra income, but it is a bit of work because you need to respond to enquiries quickly and greet the tenants when they arrive.

"If you're trying to do it from a distance, that will cost in cleaning fees as well."

Topics:  airbnb general-seniors-news re-investment toowoomba toowoomba regional council


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