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Stefan Nikolic: The Auckland short term rental market - Post-COVID recovery so far

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

As you can imagine, the short term rental market was hit hard by COVID last year when the first lockdown was announced. Zodiak was no exception . Losing half of our clients in a single month was not a pretty sight, and the short-term rental industry was in free-fall for the next few months.

Luckily though, we survived! Now the Airbnb market is improving month on month, and this looks to continue moving forward.


In May, we achieved an average occupancy rate of 83% for our managed Airbnbs in Auckland, and this was up from 77% in April. This too was an increase over March where we achieved 66% occupancy rate. That is a good trend.

Average nightly rates for May were sitting at $122 for studios and one-bedrooms, $141 for two bedrooms, and $248 for three bedrooms. Nightly rates have remained steady over the past two months, but we have increased our nightly rates by an average of 20% for June because demand is on the rise.

The Trans-Tasman Bubble was a massive relief, and we are seeing a lot of Australian tourists and business travellers coming over to stay with us for short and medium-length stays now. Kiwi travellers to Auckland are also on the increase as business returns to normal and people regain their confidence in travel without the fear of another lockdown.

Confidence in travel can be measured by looking at how long in advance guests are booking their stays. This was down to 7 days on average a few months ago and has increased to 25 days on average moving from May into June. Our calendar is almost fully booked for June already at high nightly rates, and we are receiving early bookings for as far out as September.

The Future

There is a lot of pent-up demand out there for travel, and people really cannot wait until we can move around the world freely again. New Zealand is going to be at the top of a lot of people’s lists of places to visit, and we should see a surge of overseas tourists coming to our shores as we expand our travel bubble to include more countries.

Each travel bubble is like a monopoly on tourists from that country as they will have no other choice for overseas destinations until the world returns to normal. This is a massive opportunity for us, and it is likely that demand will be even greater than before COVID as we head into summer.

If you are thinking about maximising the performance of your short-term rental portfolio or getting into the market altogether, now is the time to get your property ready for Airbnb and build up online reviews. This will allow you to charge premium prices as demand continues to increase.


Check out our website at www.zodiak.co.nz for a free Airbnb rental estimate or get in touch with me at [email protected] for more information on how it all works.


This is a guest blog submission from Stefan Nikolic of Zodiak Management. Guest submissions are a way for APIA members to share their views and experiences with each other and do not necessarily reflect the views and position of the APIA.  The content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matters and should not be relied upon for that purpose.


Stefan Nikolic

Stefan is the Managing Director of Zodiak Management, an all-in-one Airbnb management service. 


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