Volume 14 Issue 3/4 December 2017 Applied Research Notes 1

Chris Paris
Emeritus Professor of Housing Studies
University of Ulster


The paper aims to provide a critical evidence-based assessment of the changing nature of second homes in Australia. It conducts a comparative historical analysis of the evolution of second homes in Australia and the emergence of the holiday rental industry. There was widespread second home ownership in Australia by the 1960s, primarily for private family use, largely involving self-construction of modest cottages or ‘shacks’. There has been much less growth of second home ownership by 2014 than was predicted in the 1970s, but the sector has become increasingly focused in coastal areas, moved significantly up-market, and emerged into a hybrid form of dwelling ownership involving use for both leisure and investment. The paper demonstrates a need to reconceptualise the nature of second homes in Australia and elsewhere as items of private consumption and commercial investment.

Keywords: Shacks, unoccupied dwellings, seasonality, investment, mobility

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