Kiwis lucky enough to be at the beach right now might be dreaming of owning their very own bach or crib. Despite the threat from climate change, coastal property continues to prove popular.
In recent years would-be bach owners have been encouraged by the ability to recoup some of their costs by letting to holidaymakers via Bookabach, other similar home-grown websites, or the big multinationals such as Airbnb and Booking.com.
Airbnb in particular has changed the landscape for owners, although not always for the better. The holiday listing site has made letting the bach to a wider audience, or in more obscure locations, easier. It's no guarantee however of a good income and an easy life with an endless stream of high-paying guests.
Rene Swindley, chief executive of specialist rental property insurer Initio, says inquiries to insure dedicated short stay holiday properties are up 500 to 600 per cent over the past couple of years.
In the Pauanui/Tairua area, for example, more than 150 entire properties are listed on Airbnb alone, ranging in price from $76 a night to $980 per night. The most common nightly price range on Airbnb for the area is $184 to $256 per night.
Purchase prices start around $400,000 for a property, which costs about $1562 a month in mortgage with a 30 per cent deposit and 5.34 per cent floating interest rate over 30 years. At $256 a night, let for just a quarter of the year, the property could bring in $23,360 gross on a mortgage of $18,744.
One property insured with Swindley's company this year was returning 4.2 per cent annually as a long-term rental. "In reality it's only just washing its face, if that." As a holiday home the same property is bringing in 11 per cent.
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Most baches let part-time will at least pay some of their holding costs, allowing the family to enjoy it.
Hosting isn't a piece of cake. To get a good return requires work, and a higher standard of presentation than Kiwis would expect from a traditional bach rental.
Host groups on social media report some bad experiences of dealing with the large multi-national listing sites.
One issue is that guests are not always vetted properly. It's relatively easy to book through the likes of Airbnb using false names and profile pictures. Government ID is not compulsory, which allows bad apples to get through.
Owners whose properties are damaged often report that they are unsuccessful in their claim from the guest's security deposit or Airbnb's "Host Guarantee" , which Swindley describes as "mind-numbingly complex".
Kiwi baches have been used for unsanctioned parties. Owners can be naïve about the risks and claims on holiday homes have been huge.
"Holidaymakers" who rented a Queenstown property called in a removal van on the second day and emptied the house of $80,000 of contents.
Councils pose another financial risk to owners. Many, such as Auckland and Queenstown, have clamped down on Airbnb rental by hiking rates, making letting less lucrative. Others are likely to follow suit.
Another issue is that the traditional Kiwi bach is a foreign concept to many overseas Airbnb and Booking.com guests. What's Kiwiana to us, may be a shack to a foreigner and the resulting poor ratings can lead to the property being removed from the platform., which can be financially disastrous for an owner banking on the likes of Airbnb.
Turnovers between guests can also be difficult unless they employ a local agency or the likes of Bachcare to do the cleaning and tenant management.
Tax is a tricky one and woe betide Kiwi bach owners who think they can fly under the Inland Revenue Department's radar. The taxman is obtaining data from Airbnb and others to identify tax cheats and some owners may find they need to pay GST on their short-term rentals.
Ultimately buying the bach is an emotional decision as much as or more than a financial one. Dreams are made from bach holidays. Sometimes, however, renting the bach from someone else can make more sense financially.