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Disrupting the Regional Housing Market: Airbnb in New Zealand

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The role of accommodation-sharing platforms, such as Airbnb, is seen as a disruption to more conventional accommodation providers and rental markets in many cities and regions worldwide.

This Regional Graphic focuses on New Zealand, showing a snapshot in time of the spatial distribution of the accommodation provided by Airbnb. What the map shows are patterns of statistically significant mildly positive clustering (Moran’s I = 0.33, p ≤ 0.05) of the Airbnb locations. The ‘traditional’ tourism hotspots, mainly in the South Island of New Zealand, for example, Wanaka or Queenstown (Queenstown Hill, Lake Hayes South, Sunshine Bay), and the largest city, Auckland (Central West, East, Habourside and Waiheke Island), are shown. A few of the highest ranked places also feature a high intensity per usually resident person. For example, Queenstown Hill has 204 Airbnb listings per 1000 residents. The area with the highest number of Airbnbs is Wanaka, a smaller South Island tourist destination. A key issue for future research is how short-term rentals pose a challenge to local authorities who collect property taxes based on the value of the property, with some local authorities (e.g., Auckland) proposing or enacting specific by-laws in relation to Airbnb.

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