From Airbnb to mini-homes on trailers: short-term accommodation is booming in the South African region


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It was the growing demand for short-term housing that initially prompted Amanda and Tim Hogg to list their family home on Airbnb and move into a trailer.

Today, the boom in regional tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped them take their business even further.

“We built tiny houses that are on trailers so that they are not a permanent fixture in the ground and can be moved,” said Amanda Hogg.

The couple worked with local landowners to secure locations for their off-grid homes.

The first cottage built by Amanda and Tim Hogg on the Eyre Peninsula.(Provided: Tim and Amanda Hogg)

Their first sustainable cottage is called Yambara, which means “out of sight” in the local Barngarla language, and overlooks Sleaford Bay and Port Lincoln National Park.

“There’s not much going on in this premium hosting arena, and we really wanted to target that market,” Ms. Hogg said.

“I’ve never had a year like this”

Visit Port Lincoln’s accommodation reservation service owner Di Dennis believes that strong tourism demand will continue.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never had a year like this,” Ms. Dennis said.

A woman in a gray shirt is standing in front of a wall of brochures.
Di Dennis says people buy properties specifically to rent them out on a short-term basis.(ABC News: Dylan Smith)

The pandemic has resulted in an increase in the number of people putting their properties up for short-term rental during peak periods.

Raine and Horne Real Estate manager in Port Lincoln, Steve Prout, agreed there has been a surge in the number of people wanting to take advantage of the booming short-term rental market.

A man in a checkered shirt is standing in front of a beige wall.
Steve Prout says many rental property owners let them go in the short term.(ABC News: Dylan Smith)

“It’s a pretty common conversation that we have, especially in the regional waterfront types of areas,” Mr. Prout said.

He said many of his clients have turned their full-time rental properties into overnight accommodations.

“We’ve certainly seen probably around 10 percent of our rent going back to short-term housing, while that perfect storm exists anyway.”

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