A Mount Maunganui home rented on a holiday accommodating booking site has earned more than the average person's yearly salary, new data shows.
But a motel owner says renting out multiple properties on a short-term basis has the effect of stealing from the long-term rental pool amid a "housing crisis".
Bachcare says short-term accommodation serves a different market and it is "actively looking" to expand its offerings.
The latest figures from Bachcare showed one Mount home earned an annual income of $81,000.
That was the equivalent of more than $1500 per week and about three times higher than the average fully-tenanted Bay of Plenty rental property.
The average weekly earnings in the region were $1273 - or more than $66,000 a year - according to Stats NZ. Trade Me's latest figures showed the median weekly rent in Tauranga was $630 and $600 in the Bay of Plenty.
Bay residents pocketed an average of $14,300 renting out their properties on Bachcare in the last year. Properties in Tauranga earned owners an average of $13,000.
The figures were impacted by lockdown from mid-August last year to mid-December.
The data comes as business leaders say a strong summer for domestic tourism has helped rental revenue for holiday homes surge to record levels.
In the last 12 months, the average owner income per booking was $662 in Tauranga.
The highest price in the region was during the New Year, which was $1422 per night for a four-bedroom property on Marine Parade that sleeps up to 10 people.
The cheapest for the same period was $200 per night for a one-bedroom property in Ōhope.
There were 75 homes in Tauranga listed for short-term rental on Bachcare and 204 across the whole Bay of Plenty.
Tourism Bay of Plenty head of strategy and insights, Stacey Linton, said short-term bach rentals played an important role within the region's accommodation offerings.
"Many visitors love the Kiwi tradition of heading to the bach for a holiday, and if they're not lucky enough to own one, they obviously need to borrow one.
"Other visitors will consider baches if their first choice of accommodation [such as a hotel or camping ground] isn't available, or if they want to stay in a more remote part of the region which does not offer any other type of commercial accommodation."
Mount Maunganui was a popular destination and offered a range of beachfront properties for holidaymakers, she said.
"The fact that this record was set while our international border was closed reflects the extra cash that our domestic visitor sector managed to garner during this time, which might otherwise have been spent on overseas destinations.
"Our beaches were certainly a very viable alternative while the Gold Coast and Pacific Islands were out of reach."
Hospitality NZ accommodation sector Bay of Plenty chairman and Tauranga's 850 Cameron Motel owner, Tony Bullot, said the region was short of short-term rooms for visitors and it was nice to see people travelling to the Bay.
But he said people should not have multiple properties rented out on holiday accommodation booking sites as it was stealing from the long-term rental pool.
"That just should not be allowed to happen, we have a housing crisis," he said.
"We just hope for more business for everybody. It gives the chance to earn money again for the country."
Tauranga Property Investors Association president Juli Anne Tolley said more homes being rented on holiday accommodation booking sites meant there were fewer long-term rentals in the pool to choose from.
Tolley, who was also principal at Quinovic Property Management Tauranga, said law changes last year securing tenure meant some people pulled their properties out of the rental pool altogether.
From February 11 landlords were no longer able to end a periodic tenancy without cause by providing 90 days' notice and tenants must give 28 days' notice for any reason.
"The law is very limited in reasons for ending a tenancy including fixed terms," she said.
"This change actually knocked out a specific sector of rentals that were perfect for those just wanting to rent for a fixed term while their new build was being built or here on a fixed-term employment contract."
The Mount was a highly popular spot that attracted holidaymakers, she said.
"That demand pulls the highest dollars."
Tolley said some may dabble in renting their homes short-term but it was typically a small side business and not an investor's mainstream income as it was inconsistent with seasons and required high maintenance between guests.
"It will always be higher than renting as people are looking for a holiday home that provides all the furnishings and fixings for a vacation, and those extras cost."
Chief executive of Realty Group Limited, which operates Eves and Bayleys, Heath Young, said the figures showed there was still healthy demand for short-term holiday stay properties despite borders being closed to international tourists.
Short-term accommodation did have some impact as it took property away from longer-term rentals, but the number of properties available on Bachcare was not high enough to have a material impact on the rental market, he said.
Young said the Mount was increasingly becoming a year-round destination.
"If the property is beachfront or with views and well-positioned to the Mount and local restaurants then it will always be in high demand for visitors throughout the year, not just summer."
Bachcare spokeswoman Zaina Razzaq said the holiday home rental industry contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to regional economies annually.
Their data showed regions that earned the highest average income per booking during the summer were Abel Tasman/Nelson, Raglan, Wairarapa, Northland and Coromandel.
At a town level, the highest income per booking was found at properties in Hahei, Mount Maunganui, Whitianga, Waihi Beach, Pauanui, Matarangi and Mangawhai Heads.
Despite borders reopening, Razzaq was forecasting another bumper year for holiday homeowners and regional tourism as an influx of international tourists was expected to bring "higher demand than ever" for holiday home rentals.
"At peak times like this, there is a shortage of supply and we are actively looking to expand the number of properties we manage."
The holiday home market operated in parallel to long-term rentals and served different markets, she said.
"Bach owners look for the flexibility of short-term rentals to help offset the costs of maintaining their property, while still allowing them to use their asset."
It also provided short-term accommodation options for Kiwis throughout the year in popular holiday spots, where the accommodation infrastructure was not in place to handle seasonal peaks, she said.
"Many owners we work with will also switch between long-term and short-term contracts – depending on the needs of the market at the time their property becomes available."
Baches outside of main areas with fewer potential tenants also provided owners with the ability to optimise the use of their property, she said.
How much did property earn on Bachcare?
Average income in the last 12 months
Bay of Plenty: $14,300
Homes listed on Bachcare
Bay of Plenty: 204
Average owner income per booking
Bay of Plenty: $565
Cost: $1422 per night
Location: Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui
Cost: $200 per night
Highest annual revenue for single property in the Bay
Location: Mount Maunganui