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Airbnb boom: 20,000 listings and counting in New Zealand

Airbnb hosts in Queenstown make about $8600 a year on average.

Queenstown property owners earning about $8600 a year through Airbnb are among the thousands of Kiwis using the service to make extra cash.

Airbnb New Zealand manager Sam McDonagh said the number of property listings in New Zealand had reached more than 20,000.

"The big reason for that is that Kiwis have a wonderful reputation and are known for their hospitality," he said.

Airbnb New Zealand manager Sam McDonagh says the company has over 20,000 property listings in New Zealand and over 2000 in Queenstown.

"Hosts see the opportunity to list their homes on Airbnb [can make] a real difference to them, whether it'd be their ability to go on holiday, to help pay down the mortgage or just to meet other daily expenses."

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The average Kiwi Airbnb host rents out their space about 28 nights a year, earning $2900.

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"It's not a significant amount and obviously there's plenty of people who earn more or earn less," McDonagh said.

The average annual profit was almost three times higher for Queenstown property owners, who earned about $8600 by hosting guests 43 nights a year. 

McDonagh said the higher demand and earnings in Queenstown was likely due to the resort town being the "adventure capital of the world" and a popular holiday destination.

Queenstown hosts also tended to be "significantly older" – aged about 43 –  than those from elsewhere in the country, who were generally about 28.

Airbnb had been blamed for a lack of affordable rental housing for workers in the Queenstown Lakes area, but McDonagh said the company was contributing positively to the local community and economy.

"We treat every city on its merit and work with the government  and regulators in those cities to work towards very progressive regulations so that people could share their homes and make a positive contribution to the society."

Airbnb property listings made up a "small section" of the housing market.

"If it was different we would certainly work with authorities to do something about it as we have in other markets around the world," McDonagh said.

The company aimed to make travel "easy and magical" by providing accommodation for everyone.

"As people continue to embrace the sharing economy and the benefits of it I think that will see Airbnb continue to grow."

Airbnb launched its first New Zealand Experience destination last week, offering 10 experiences in Queenstown, including bee keeping, winemaking, coffee-making and alpine helicopter runs.

AIRBNB IN NEW ZEALAND

• Number of listings: about 20000

• Average amount earned by hosts: $2900 a year

• Host age: 28

• Average length of stay per guest: three nights

• Top five international markets: Sydney, Melbourne, London, Singapore and Brisbane

AIRBNB IN QUEENSTOWN

• Number of listings: 2000

• Average amount earned by hosts: $8600 a year

• Average host age: 43

• Average length of stay per guest: three nights

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