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Where did all the properties go?

Short-term Accommodation Update

Like many popular destinations in the world, such as London, New York and Singapore, parts of Australia are currently suffering from a chronically low supply of short-term corporate accommodation. This is only serving to compound an already-stressful situation for the relocating employees. So why is the market so tight and what can you do about it?

While Australia’s border was closed for 2 years, many short-term accommodation providers understandably suffered huge losses. Investors sold off their apartments to reduce inventory, while others took the opportunity to refurbish their properties. A pause in construction delayed new projects coming to market and many Australians returned home taking back their properties to live in.

Once the international border opened last November, the flood gates opened. A lack of skilled labour, an historically low unemployment rate and the war for talent has resulted in organisations looking overseas to fill key roles. The Department of Home Affairs was extremely delayed in the processing of visas, but this is starting to improve. Having already waited for months, employees are coming out as soon as visas are granted, often with a very short lead time.

If you have employees relocating to Australia, here are our top 5 tips to effectively navigate the market to ensure they have a smooth start in their new location:

1. Consider Dates and Postponing Their Arrival

We understand, you have probably been waiting to get your employee to Australia for a very long time and the business needed them here yesterday. However, if possible, please allow at least 4 weeks between receiving the visa and arriving in country. This will make the whole transition smoother and less stressful for all involved and there is a better chance of more accommodation options being available the more notice we can have.

If they simply cannot postpone their arrival, there is a chance they may have to stay in a hotel for the first few nights.

We are thrilled that sporting tournaments, festivals and other notable events are back in the calendar - with crowds! Keep these in mind when planning your employee’s arrival. The Melbourne Cup, the Australian Tennis Open in January, the Grand Prix etc. all see prices skyrocket and often for just a weekend. You could save thousands by pushing an arrival date out by a week or two.

2. Be Flexible

With options so limited right across cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, there may not be any accommodation that meets all of your requirements. The dates of the stay and size of apartment considering family size are the essential parameters we consider first. We also always prefer to submit options with a full kitchen and internal laundry, rather than kitchenette and shared laundry to make the stay more comfortable. Requirements such as desired areas, proximity to the beach, office etc. may not be possible. Three-bedroom units are rare and are often 2 interconnecting apartments. We have had to resort to sofa-beds in the living area recently. Most of the market is not pet friendly so consider delaying the relocation of a pet for a couple of months or using a boarding service.

3. Be Quick In Your Decision-Making

Our short-term accommodation team aim to provide up to 3 options for your consideration. When they are presented to you, there are no bookings currently being held, they are simply available for the dates and duration you need. Therefore, it’s essential that you decide quickly which apartment you would like to book. We understand that the approval process can take time, but the longer this takes, the less likely these options will be available. If you are overseas, remember the time difference with Australia. We work extremely hard, but also need to sleep! We can easily lose a day or two if communication is not swift.

4. Trust Us

The EWR Accommodation team has operated in the market for over 10 years and maintains very good, personal relationships right across the sector, rather than simply relying on platforms or aggregators. We are not limited to working with a few of the largest providers. Instead, we creatively search for solutions across cities that are up to standard. The selections we present are truly the best we have found that meet your parameters. Sometimes there may only be one or two viable considerations. Of course, you can always Google and options will likely come up as available. Unfortunately, what is not always apparent is that particular property would have to move you within the building three times during your stay to accommodate you. That is not an ideal experience for your employee and something we always try to avoid.

5. Be Prepared to Pay

With demand so high and after struggling to survive for two years, property managers are charging extremely high nightly rates, and guests are paying. We have seen significant increases in the nightly rate for standard corporate accommodation. This is not limited to downtown Sydney or the desirable areas of capital cities either. Suburban areas and regional locations where options have always been limited are also very expensive.

Many relocating families want to move to Australia in January so children can start school at the beginning of the academic year. These corporate bookings in the peak season of December and January are competing with holiday-makers, weddings and Christmas travel. Many providers are already at capacity for the peak summer period.

We live and breathe our values of Be Dependable, Be Delightful, Be Proactive, Be Curious and Be Meaningfully Connected. All of these come into play when delivering short-term accommodation solutions to our client. We leave no stone unturned, will always provide the best options for you and your employee’s needs, not us and work tirelessly to make the relocation as smooth as possible.

We look forward to making these important moves as exciting and positive as they should be for your key talent.

To help you budget and manage expectations, we have recently updated our Guide to Corporate Accommodation Costs

Note: Please be aware in peak season, holiday periods and special events, providers will add a surcharge to their rates. Provider surcharges are not included in the above estimates and would be advised at the time of booking. **Furnished rates do not include items such as bonds, utilities & exit cleans Based on a minimum 14-night stay 3-bedroom apartments are scarce and limited supply.

Do you need short-term accommodation? Let us help you! Don’t hesitate to reach out:


Written by: Anna Kavelj - Managing Director 29/09/2022


For further advice on relocation support into Australia or New Zealand, please contact us at


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