Byron releases Housing Strategy alongside Airbnb Restrictions


Byron releases Housing Strategy alongside Airbnb Restrictions




Ruby Burns



Byron releases Housing Strategy alongside Airbnb Restrictions

Byron Bay has long been a destination of choice for holidaymakers, however, a perfect storm comprising the regional population boom caused by the pandemic, demand for Airbnb properties, vulnerability to flood impacts, and rising land prices have created a severe imbalance between housing demand and supply.

Byron releases Housing Strategy alongside Airbnb Restrictions

In March 2024, the Byron Shire Residential Strategy 2041 was endorsed to guide future housing over the next 20 years. The Residential Strategy 2041 was developed to refresh the Residential Strategy 2020 that was adopted by Byron Shire Council but never endorsed by the NSW State Government.

The Strategy is bold, providing Byron-centric solutions to realise the housing target of 4,522 homes in the next 20 years. Byron’s Strategy focuses on alternative and innovative housing models including micro lots, intentional communities (eco-villages), and pocket neighbourhoods as a creative response to the housing crisis in Northern NSW.

Micro lots provide for homes on small lots between 50-200sqm to reduce land cost and house size. Intentional communities (or eco-villages) are an integrated housing project on a single lot with shared communal facilities funded by residents. Pocket neighbourhoods focus on a cluster of houses or apartments gathered around shared open space to improve land efficiency.

The Strategy also focuses on addressing the imbalance caused by the significant proportion of short-term rental accommodation (STRA) and the impact this has on residential supply and affordability.

Current regulations for STRA came into effect on 31 January 2022, and apply to all hosted or non-hosted STRA in NSW. These restrictions limit non-hosted STRA use for more than 180 days in a 365-day period, which is increasingly being considered in other locations across Australia. There are currently no time restrictions on hosted STRA. All STRA hosts must register on the NSW Government Short-Term Accommodation Register.

Byron Shire has long been calling on the NSW Government for further restrictions to STRA to improve housing availability in Northern NSW. In September 2024, new restrictions will apply across most of Byron Shire to cap non-hosted STRA to 60 days in a 365-day period. It’s unclear as to how closely these new restrictions will be regulated, however the impending restrictions have already seen a surge of new long-term rental properties come onto the market to ease rental demand.

Could STRA restrictions be a solution for other regional holiday hotspots to ease long-term rental demand or will landowners simply take their holiday houses off the rental market all together and increase the price and reduce the availability of holiday accommodation for Australians?

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the Byron Residential Strategy 2024 or projects in Northern NSW.

More information can be found here.