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5 best areas in the Sunshine Coast for Airbnb property investment 2020

Well known for its pristine coastline and peaceful hinterlands, the Sunshine Coast is fast developing into a major tourism hot spot. The key hubs for short-term rental properties in the city run along the length of its populated coastline stretching from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads in the north.


In this blog post, we reveal the top five areas in the Sunshine Coast, in terms of number of active listings and average monthly revenue, for investors interested in short-term rentals.


Looking for a more detailed breakdown of Sunshine Coast's short-term rental market in 2020? Click the link below to download a full PDF report:

Download Report

Summary of the Sunshine Coast’s short-term rental market

The short-term rental market in this sunny Queensland destination has seen consistent growth in recent years. For example, in December 2017, 3,275 Airbnb properties were booked while in December 2019, 6,538 properties were booked via short-term rental booking platforms in the Sunshine Coast. The number of Airbnbs available has virtually doubled with annual listing nights booked increasing 43% in the last three years.

The success of Airbnbs in the Sunshine Coast is attributed to the abundance of both local and international travellers visiting the city for its relaxed vibes and great surf. Further, the region has seen steady permanent population growth which has increased at an average annual rate of 2.4% year-on-year over the five years leading up to 2018.


Figure 1.  Trend in the number of booked properties vs. total listings nights booked in the Sunshine Coast

sunshine coast airbnb listing nights booked
Source: AirDNA

Between October 2018 and October 2019 over 950,000 nights were booked across active properties and out of all the properties, 834,000 were entire home whilst 115,796 were private room rentals and 400 were shared rooms.

Figure 2. Average nightly rate for short-term rentals in Sunshine Coast

airbnb nightly rates in the Sunshine Coast
Source: AirDNA

In 2019, average daily rental rates for entire homes in the Sunshine Coast ranged from $207 per night to as high as $304 in December 2019. As a coastal tourism hub, there is a clear peak in demand during the summer holiday periods, in particular December and January where there is a corresponding spike in occupancy rates and average nightly rates which can be 2-3 times higher compared to the average for the rest of the year.

For the top properties in the region, occupancy rates can average well above 80% in most months. 

The top five suburbs and areas in the Sunshine Coast for short-term property investors

*All unit/house prices are based on date from 


1. Noosa

With pristine beaches and beautiful coastal trails, Noosa is the dream destination for families and travellers alike. Peregian Beach, Sunshine Beach and Sunrise Beach are all areas in the Shire of Noosa that attract a myriad of visitors for its pristine waters. However, Noosa Heads is the best performing suburb in the entire city as it has the highest number of Airbnb listings as well as the greatest revenue from short-term rentals where the average daily rental revenue in the suburb is $348noosa airbnb managementMedian unit/house price in Noosa Heads: 

  • 1 bedroom - $655k
  • 2 bedrooms - $700k; $890k
  • 3 bedrooms - $1.25m; $1.3m

Average monthly revenue: Noosa Heads $3,339; Noosaville $2,503; Sunshine Beach $2,925; Sunrise Beach $2472; Peregian Beach $2,292


2. Mooloolaba

Home to the biggest fishing fleet on the eastern seaboard of Australia, Mooloolaba attracts a large number of local and international visitors. It is the perfect beachside getaway, offering a fantastic variety of activities. The peak summer season is the perfect time for property owners in Mooloolaba and investors in the Sunshine Coast region to take advantage of higher returns as the average daily rate in Mooloolaba can reach as high as $295.

mooloolaba airbnb management


Median unit/house price: 

  • 1 bedroom - $280k
  • 2 bedrooms - $395k
  • 3 bedrooms - $593k; $645k

Average monthly revenue:  $3,415


3. Coolum Beach

A surfing and golfing mecca, Coolum Beach is a popular tourist destination with plenty of shopping and entertainment options. The area has one of the highest occupancy rates among the top Sunshine Coast suburbs and 91% of all short-term rentals in the area are entire home Airbnbs.

coolum beach

Median unit/house price: 

  • 1 bedroom - $286k
  • 2 bedrooms - $421k; $625k
  • 3 bedrooms - $525k; $753k

Average monthly revenue:  $3,012


4. Caloundra

Known as The Gateway to Sunshine Coast, Caloundra is famous for its stunning views of the Glasshouse Mountains and amazing coastal headlands. The suburb is popular among travellers from Brisbane as well as thrill seekers such as skydivers and windsurfers and it is home to the Ben Bennett Botanical Parklands.

caloundra airbnb management

Median unit/house price: 

  • 1 bedroom - $275k
  • 2 bedrooms - $423k
  • 3 bedrooms - $528k; $560k

Average monthly revenue:  $2,870


5. Maroochydore

Situated at the mouth of the Maroochy River, Maroochydore is an ever developing suburb with high growth potential. The bustling area is the definition of the coastal lifestyle. On weekends, residents can be seen shopping and enjoying scrumptious food at the Sunshine Plaza, the largest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast.

maroochydore airbnb management

Median unit/house price: 

  • 1 bedroom - $270k
  • 2 bedrooms - $379k; $575k
  • 3 bedrooms - $528k; $683k

Average monthly revenue:  $2,256


The best areas for short-term rentals in the Sunshine Coast are Noosa, Mooloolaba, Coolum Beach, Caloundra and Maroochydore, which are all located along the coastline within walking distance to major tourist attractions and serene beaches.

The latest National Visitor Survey revealed that over 3.5 million domestic vacationers visited the Sunshine Coast in the past year and the demand for short-term rentals is projected to grow as the city remains a top destination among local and interstate travellers.


Ask an Airbnb expert: want more information about short-term rental in Australia? Submit your question to the MadeComfy team below.



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