Victorian vacation rental prices soar over Australia Day weekend

Looking for a last minute place to vacation in Australia today and you can’t believe the prices? You’re not alone.

Huge demand from locked-in Victorians has seen accommodation prices rise over the coming weekend. Airbnb hosts, who can set their own prices on the online platform, charge up to $ 1,500 a night for three-bedroom beachfront homes.

A three bedroom house in Torquay seen by Domain was asking $ 1,593 a night over Australia Day weekend, more than double its cost of $ 727 a night in off-peak periods. At Smiths Beach, near Phillip Island, another Three-bedroom lodge was priced at $ 1501 a night over Australia Day weekend and outside of peak hours it’s $ 924 a night.

Vacation bookings through real estate agents, though mostly booked as early as November, still cost between $ 500 and $ 800 a night for a three-bedroom home.

David Muir, director of Surf Coast Holiday Rentals covering Torquay and Jan Juc, said in his experience that high accommodation prices often draw crowds.

“We see a lot of opportunism on Airbnb from owners who want to make every day a winner,” he said.

“Our owners are quite aware that if you price families for a stay in a vacation home, you will only get singles, young people, high risk rentals and we have certainly seen a lot of them. in the past four weeks.

Although the prices of the vacation properties he manages were not higher for Australian Day, Muir said more vacation home owners were giving up their homes due to extraordinary demand and guaranteed income.

“We found out because of the high demand, and word spread quite quickly in the city, that higher prices could be obtained,” he said.

“So the owners that we would normally have on our books for a few weeks and then go back to their property chose to pitch a tent or go live with the in-laws for a few more weeks. “

The recent covid outbreaks across New South Wales and the border closures that followed have scuttled the vacation plans of many Victorians and put additional pressure on local prices and demand.

Lucy Longden, head of vacation rentals at Kerleys Coastal in Point Lonsdale, said this has also caused a shortage of vacation rentals.

Point Lonsdale is in demand by vacationers for this weekend. Photo: sbostock

“Some owners use their properties because they can’t travel so it’s just very busy,” she said.

“The demand has just been huge, people who cannot travel between states come here.

“It usually goes down a bit around the end of January, but it isn’t this year, so we’ve just been full from the start and we just can’t keep up with demand.”

Some vacationers even traveled short distances for a getaway, said Patrick Barry, director of Inverloch Accommodation.

“It is certain that COVID-19 has increased the number of people watching Inverloch and we have even had people from other parts of Gippsland to visit, people from places like Warragul and Leongatha,” he said. .

“So they’re just driving down the road and spending a week here. “

Local tourism is helping regional cities recover from the impacts of covid, said Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“Local hosts on Airbnb have been busy rolling out their welcome mats and are very keen to make a big contribution to their region’s economic recovery,” she said.

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