The buyassociation.co.uk website is predicting a strong uptake for short-term holiday rentals this year, as many people play safe and avoid overseas travel. Bookings for later in the year are already looking strong, despite the continuing uncertainty about when lockdown restrictions will be eased.
The website reports that one holiday home letting agents had an increase for bookings in July and August of 126%, compared to the same time last year. As the vaccination programme continues to roll out efficiently, holidaymakers are becoming more confident of travelling within the UK later in the year.
The amount of people with foreign holidays booked is at its lowest level for decades. In 2020, some people were still able to go away in July and August on trips they had booked at the start of the year, but in 2021, the advice is against booking any overseas travel. Therefore, the demand for staycations is expected to be high this summer.
The short-term rental market has suffered during the pandemic for obvious reasons, but the pent-up demand for holidays after repeated lockdowns is expected to fuel a boom in the sector. Even before the pandemic, private holiday lets were overtaking hotels and B and Bs in popularity, as people want the flexibility and privacy of their own space.
All this makes short-term rentals more attractive to property investors and landlords. Holiday lets can earn much higher yields than long-term rentals, but there is also more work involved in handovers, and the demand can be seasonal.
There is growing demand among buy-to let landlords who are attracted by the potential higher income of a holiday let. Investors looking to diversify their property portfolios will also be keeping an eye on the staycation trend. Brexit is a further factor in discouraging overseas holidays, as the pound takes a hit, and the UK becomes a cheaper destination.
Mortgage lenders are picking up on the trend among buy-to-let and property investors to snap up holiday lets, some of which are currently on the London market for very attractive prices, owing to the travel disruption caused by rolling lockdowns. As we look towards the spring, the rentals market is certainly set to blossom.