Vacation homes booked solidly while short term rentals are purchased

Short-term rental owners are finally ready to get the income they expect all year round, with vacation homes booked over the Christmas holidays in many of Australia’s favorite destinations.

During COVID-19-related closures, short-stay accommodation suffered a massive slowdown as Australians were urged to stay in their homes and international and state borders were closed.

From the Gold Coast to the Great Ocean Road, short-term and vacation rentals have remained empty, with some landlords switching their properties to the long-term rental market just to get money in the bank.

But since the restrictions eased, more recently there has been a surge of vacationers desperate to book a getaway over the summer – and this The last minute rush has left few affordable options for families looking to have a Christmas vacation.

At the southern end of the Gold Coast, homes in areas like Coolangatta are fully booked for the rest of December and January, as people flock to get closer to the beach.

There were similar booking levels for Tweed Heads and Kingscliff on the north coast of NSW.

“We are full and there are now only a few people filling in some of the gaps [in nearby suburbs]Said Courtney Hartley, portfolio manager of Gold Coast Holiday Homes.

More expensive houses and apartments had been booked for a short stay over Christmas, as well as those offering more budget accommodation, she said.

“Everything is pretty much reserved at each end of the ladder,” Ms. Hartley said. “We had a lot of inquiries from Victorians [since the borders opened] but most of our guests are from Brisbane or Queensland.

The popularity of bookings can be seen on short-stay rental sites like Airbnb, where searches for properties along the Gold Coast are up 140% from the six-month average.

The only rentals currently available charge rates ranging from $ 8,000 to $ 74,000 for an average-sized family wishing to stay 10 days over Christmas.

While the Gold Coast has seen a boom in bookings, the popular coastal areas closer to Sydney and Melbourne also report having little to no short-stay rentals available.

Vacationers were mainly looking to take a break from their own state to be closer to home in the event of a new wave of COVID-19, agents said.

Vacation homes along the Great Ocean Road are full. Photo: iStock

Along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, popular seaside suburbs including Torquay and Jan Juc have been extremely popular with vacationers across the state.

Surf Coast Holiday Rentals accommodation consultant India Moran said there had been a number of bookings in December and January.

“We’re full, which usually never happens at this time of year,” Ms. Moran said. “We mostly saw Victorians booking. There have been a few interstate investigations but they are more cautious [because of coronavirus]. “

Airbnb reveals that searches for vacation homes in Torquay have increased by 250% over the search average over the past six months, with the few available homes charging between $ 2,000 and $ 14,000 for a 10-day break.

While vacation homes and apartments are fully booked, those looking for the ultimate affordable vacation may want to try a caravan or vacation park rental, where there is still availability at Christmas.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia communications manager Keelan Howard said the most popular spots in recent weeks for those in a motorhome or caravan were also along the northern and southern coasts of the New South Wales, the Sunshine Coast of Queensland and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

“Locations that are within four hours of major metropolitan cities have been extremely popular with this outreach as occupancy levels fill up,” Howard said.

Like vacation homes, many on vacation planned to stay in their own state, he said.

“As COVID closures and borders loosen, Australians are cautious about their vacation options, in many cases choosing to stay close to home or in their own state for fear of being stranded if the worst-case scenario was happening, ”Mr. Howard said.

Those looking to really get away from it all might try some of the parks that are further away from cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where accommodation was still available. This includes the Northern Territory and even Tasmania.

“While some businesses have seen record demand, others are still waiting for the recovery to spread across the country – especially destinations further from metropolitan cities that are less easily accessible or are outside of their peak season. ideal visit, ”he said.

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