An Auckland real estate is worried that home-sharing business Airbnb could be cutting rental accommodation choice in a city where tenants are already competing hard for places.
Andrew Murray of Apartment Specialists said he had concerns about Airbnb's rapid expansion in Auckland and its rising popularity, particularly in the CBD and smaller unit market.
That could mean tenants seeking stable long-term tenure had far less choice, he said.
"Airbnb is a threat to the rental market in New Zealand because it removes stock. People using it are mainly tourists in Auckland and business people in Wellington," he said.
But Sam McDonagh, Airbnb New Zealand country manager, said the business was making little difference to the availability of rental stock.
"Our hosts across New Zealand are renting out their home occasionally, earning a little extra to help top up their income. Overwhelmingly, these are everyday mums and dads, seniors and young families listing their primary residence for an average of just 28 nights a year - the home in which they live.
"The average annual amount generated through our platform here is just $3800 a year, and while this doesn't sound like a lot to some, we know the impact can often be life changing. Our hosts tell us this modest extra income helps pay off the mortgage, cover bills and household expenses. Others list their home to pay for their own holiday away with the family once or twice a year.
"We're proud of the economic benefits Airbnb provides to families, communities and local businesses that otherwise wouldn't benefit from the tourist dollar," McDonagh said.
Murray said he had noticed how some cities overseas had banned Airbnb from renting out certain types of properties but said he felt somewhat conflicted raising the issue - because he is using it to rent out his one-bedroom Auckland apartment in the Metropolis building for $1800 a week.
However, he remained concerned about the effects.
Britain's The Independent has reported that Berlin banned tourists from renting entire apartments through Airbnb and its competitors, in an attempt to protect the supply of affordable housing.
"With the help of large fines, the German city's authorities are hoping to protect the property supply and keep rents as low as possible.
"After the success of the various online rental portals, the number of properties available for long-term rental periods had fallen markedly," The Independent reported.
One Auckland woman also told the Herald today how when she rented a Berlin apartment through Airbnb, she was told not to reveal details about her stay but to claim she was simply visiting a friend. That was so no other residents in the block were alerted to the fact she had rented through the home-sharing web site, she said.
"I met the tenant who held the lease for the place and she gave us strict instructions," the Auckland woman said.
The New York Post has reported how most Airbnb listings violate the state's short-term leasing law.
There are around 4000 listings in Auckland and the most popular suburbs in Auckland are Auckland Central, Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, Newmarket and Mount Eden. There is an even split between entire houses being offered and single rooms.
The top five international markets Airbnb travellers to New Zealand originate from are Sydney, Melbourne, London, Singapore and Brisbane.
The top five destinations New Zealanders are travelling to on Airbnb are London, Melbourne, New York, Paris and Sydney.