Canberra's Airbnb & short-term rental market continues to thrive in 2020

COVID-19 has heavily impacted Australia's short-term rental market in most capital cities, but one region has remained surprisingly resilient to the impacts of the pandemic throughout 2020.
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Analysis of Gold Coast's short-term rental market

Sunbathing all day by a stunning beach and hitting the waves to surf whenever your heart desires is the epitome of the Australian dream and one of the top locations where you can precisely do all of these is the Gold Coast. The names of its iconic suburbs such as Surfers Paradise and Mermaid Waters speak for themselves. 

It is no wonder why Australia's most wish-listed Airbnb property with its luxurious outdoor pool and picturesque view is located on the Gold Coast.

Interesting in the broader state market? Download our Queensland report to get an in-depth understanding of the Gold Coast short-term rental market as well as data on other major cities such as Brisbane:

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According to Airbnb, year on year, the number of short-term rental listings in Gold Coast increased by 67% and hosts earned over a million dollars per week by putting their properties on the platform. However, in spite of the promising statistics, Gold Coast is more susceptible to seasonal fluctuations compared to other major cities in Australia and not all of the locations in the city perform equally well. In this article, we analyse the general trends of Gold Coast's short-term rental market and break down the best Gold Coast suburbs for property owners considering an active investment strategy.


Summary of Gold Coast’s short-term rental market

1. Demand and supply

Fig 1. Demand for short-term rental properties (entire homes) in the Gold Coast

Gold Coast airbnb managementSource: AirDNA, 2015-2019

Sam McDonagh, Airbnb's country manager for Australia and New Zealand stated that Gold Coast property owners made $53 million last year, allowing the overall income from short-term rental property investments in Gold Coast to significantly overshadow other touristy Queensland cities, namely Brisbane and Cairns.To put the city's performance into perspective, the whole of Australian Capital Territory earned $20 million in the past year.

The outstanding results can be partly attributed to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which attracted 4.8 million visitors to the city. The event, which took place over 12 days in April caused a peak in the number of short-term listings available, enabling property owners to achieve 34% higher monthly revenue for that month. As seen in Figure 1 above, the demand was also its highest in April 2018 when 69,849 nights were booked.

Overall, demand for short-term rentals is expected to rise in Gold Coast as visitors are increasingly drawn to the city's incredible beaches, surfing spots, theme parks, vibrant nightlife and entertainment options.

Gold Coast airbnb management - theme parks


2. Rental rates and seasonality

In the past year, average daily rental rates in Gold Coast ranged from $178 per night in June 2019 to as high as $263 in January 2019. As seen below in Figure 2, average daily rental rates peak during the summer periods, particularly in December and January, and fall significantly in winter.

The impact on occupancy rates from seasonality is higher in Gold Coast and the supply of short-term rental properties in the city is less spread out geographically when compared to other coastal regions like Sydney and Brisbane. This is primarily due to the effect of occupancy rates in Gold Coast's popular coastal suburbs over the peak summer season.  

Fig 2. Average booked nightly rate for short-term rental properties in the Gold Coast

Gold Coast airbnb management

Source: AirDNA, 2019

Top Gold Coast suburbs

Surfers Paradise is the most popular destination for tourists and it has the highest number of active listings. In April 2019, the suburb reached an astounding 2,000 active listings. However, despite its popularity, the suburb does not generate the highest short-term rental income. 

Fig.3 Yearly revenue per suburbs and rental type in the Gold Coast

Gold Coast suburb

Average daily rate*

Average monthly revenue**

Burleigh Heads



Surfers Paradise






Main Beach



Mermaid Beach



Source: AirDNA, 2019

*Average booked nightly rate for all booked days over the past year from Nov. 2018 - Oct. 2019

**Median monthly revenue per property over the past year from Nov. 2018 - Oct. 2019


Broadbeach present the most rewarding rental income for short-term rental property owners, averaging $2,950 per month. Gold Coast Convention Centre, shopping centres, as well as many food precincts, are some of Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise’s main attractions aside from the famous beaches.

Main Beach, Mermaid Beach and Burleigh Heads, follow closely behind and make it on the list of the top 5 suburbs for short-term rentals in Gold Coast. These suburbs perform well as they are situated close to the centre, which represents a great opportunity for property owners to generate a higher income through short-term rentals by targeting both tourists and corporate travellers who visit the region. Gold Coast airbnb management

In summary, demand for short-term rentals is projected to increase in Gold Coast as the city is among the fastest-growing hubs in Australia. In terms of net short-term rental income, seasonal fluctuations did not stop Gold Coast properties to outperform airbnbs in major Queensland cities like Brisbane and Cains. In addition, continual developments in the city resulted in a myriad of new convention centres, shopping malls, food precincts, and recreational sports facilities, making Gold Coast a travel destination not just for the summer.

The top-performing suburbs in the city are Broadbeach, Surfer's Paradise, Main Beach, Mermaid Beach, and Burleigh Heads. In the high season, you can expect the occupancy rates in these suburbs to be consistently above 70 percent.


Interesting in the larger state market? Download our Queensland report to get an in-depth understanding of the region as well as insights on additional major cities such as Brisbane:

Download Report

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