A lack of housing supply, not short-term letting, is to blame for Queensland's rental crisis according to the findings of a new report.

The Queensland state government commissioned the University of Queensland to assess the impacts of short term rentals like Airbnb and Stayz on the state's tight rental market after the Brisbane City Council announced it would be cracking down on short-term rental owners by hiking rates.

The report concluded that short-term rentals have a limited impact on rental affordability, and that dwelling stocks were a significant contributor to explaining rental price increases.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the review revealed that short-term rentals are most prevalent in high tourism coastal areas and have limited impact on wider rental affordability.

“The review found no clear alignment between the suburbs with the highest rent increases and the percentage of dwellings devoted to short-term rental. Instead, dwelling stocks emerged as the significant contributor to explaining rental prices," Mr Miles said.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella said the findings of the report are "entirely unsurprising".

"How many different times do we need to end up coming to the same conclusion that insufficient rental supply is the root of the issue before it hits home?” Ms Mercorella said. 

“This report cements the fact there is no correlation between the prevalence of short-term rentals and nearby long-term rental affordability, and our hope is that it can finally stop distracting government from where their real focus needs to be - addressing supply.”

Read more: Is it ethical to invest in Airbnb's during a rental crisis?

The report found that there were 19,773 active short-term rentals in Queensland in the first quarter of 2023. Of those, 11,193 were used on a permanent basis, with two-thirds of these rentals within the state's south-east.

The report said the Queensland Government would now consider implementing a short-term rental registration system.

“A registration system could serve as a tool to support local governments in monitoring short term rental activity and could provide invaluable insights into its impact on our housing market over time, to inform evidence-based regulation," Mr Miles said.

Ms Mercorella said the short-term rental register contradicts the report's acknowledgement of the limited impact of short-term rentals on the market.

“The proposed short-term rental register smacks of using any excuse for the government to collect data on property investors for the purposes of ultimately penalising them through greater regulation and higher rates,” Ms Mercorella said.

“This crisis wasn’t caused by people investing in Queensland property or having holiday homes in our state. 

“Planning pitfalls and various obstacles have been holding back our state’s housing supply and pathways to home ownership – and this is absolutely where the government’s focus needs to be to get to the crux of this issue.”

Image by Bailey Rytenskild on Unsplash