Everyone knows buying a place is hard. Stacked Up app aims to show how it might be possible.

By analysing data from suburbs around Australia, Stacked Up sets out to identify 'smarter suburbs', where renting a spare room(s) may provide the extra income needed to make things stack up. The app compares property sale prices with potential returns on short term, private room rentals, showing places where people might be able to make important dollars renting their extra space.

Stacked Up app gives each suburb an index number - or 'index score' - to show the ratio between estimated short term rental income and the median purchase price of a unit property. A higher index number indicates a higher ratio of estimated rental-income to median purchase price, demonstrating how short-term renting may potentially present a relatively better opportunity to make the numbers stack up in some suburbs.

Example: An apartment in suburb A which costs $500k and has an estimated rent of $100pn has an index score of 20, whereas an apartment in suburb B which costs $500k and has an estimated rent of $150pn has an index score of 30. A third apartment in suburb C, which costs $750k and has an estimated rent of $200pn, has an index score of 27.

We’re still working on the app - we want it to show how returns on short term renting compare for places with different numbers of rooms, different proximities to transport, and different property features - to help first-home buyers, up-graders, and those who already own a home (and want to see if short term renting stacks up for them). What do you think the app should do? Have a go at the app yourself, then take the What's Next survey here!

If it were possible to make meaningful dollars from renting a spare room, buying that place might just stack up.

And if, or when you are ready to be a host, ShareCover can give you peace of mind with Host Insurance - covering you for as little as $5 a night.

Read the Stacked Up App Disclaimer.

Explainer video