MELBURNIANS are making as much as $15,000 a year renting out their spare rooms through popular accommodation website Airbnb.
Melbourne Airbnb hosts are earning an average of $7100 by taking in tenants for 30 to 60 days a year, the site said, but others were making more by offering spare rooms, granny flats, bungalows and even fold-out couches all year.
And research has shown the website is not just earning hosts rental returns — the rise of Airbnb in Australia has also pushed up the selling price of properties with the potential to generate extra income for their owners, according to real estate agency PRDnationwide.
PRDnationwide national research manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said Melbourne homes listed as having dual living capabilities, such as granny flats and potential spare rooms, sold for 9 per cent more on average than houses with similar characteristics in the same area.
She said it was the same in Brisbane (23.4 per cent) and Sydney (21.2 per cent).
“As Airbnb becomes more popular, there is a growing trend of people factoring a property’s dual living capabilities in their decision to buy,’’ she said.
Airbnb now has more than 9000 listings in Melbourne, with St Kilda, Fitzroy and Brunswick the fastest-growing areas for hosts.
Airbnb “super host” Mario Cacchione, 54, makes $10,000 to $15,000 a year in rent by listing the spare room in his CBD apartment.
He became a host five years ago because he wanted a variety of roommates rather than a permanent tenant — he’s had about 350 roomies so far.
His two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is occupied by travellers from across the world for “90 to 95 per cent of the year”.
“That’s the beauty of it — it’s dynamic,” he said.
“I could make more money, but that’s not my main driver.”
He said he invested some of the money he made back into his tenants, taking them for meals at his favourite Melbourne eateries and covering water and electricity costs.
Mr Cacchione said while he didn’t treat Airbnb as a money-making venture, he knew of others who did.
Airbnb’s Australian general manager, Sam McDonagh, said the service was “the easiest way for Melbourne locals to monetise their extra space”.
“Our hosts tell us their Airbnb income helps them pay the mortgage, cover utility bills and other everyday expenses,” Mr McDonagh said.
But Dr Mardiasmo said while the income generated from Airbnb could help relieve the financial pressure of owning your own home, it was an “irregular, unstable form of income” that shouldn’t totally be relied upon.
Source from Herald Sun