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Holiday accommodation in the UK is set for another popular summer, and those considering investing in the short-term lets sector could reap rewards.

A new report has revealed that there could be another rise in the number of holidaymakers opting for short-term lets – generally self-contained, self-catering accommodation – in the UK.

The research, by Mintel, showed that almost half (47%) of families looking at holidays were interested in a cottage or villa for future trips, rather than a hotel.

This compares with just 25% who have experienced this type of holiday in the past three years. It indicates a potential future rise in ‘staycationers’ looking for holiday homes.

It seems discovering a new place was a key driver for many choosing to stay local in their holiday options. Around 89% of people said this was what appealed to them.

Covid, of course, sparked a major increase in the number of people staying on UK turf for their holidays. More than a fifth (22%) of respondents said the pandemic had led them to discover a new part of the country.

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Short-term lets sales surge

A separate study, by Euromonitor, revealed that the sector has played a major role in the UK’s housing market recovery. It found that self-contained accommodation – including short-term rentals – was ahead of other sectors in the value of sales recovery last year.

Predictions for the year ahead are also hugely positive. The sector is forecast to hit 2019 levels in its sales values, reaching around £2.1bn in 2022.

Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Holiday Cottages, commented: “A holiday doesn’t have to mean flying abroad or driving hundreds of miles. Our research shows that Brits are now much more open to exploring what lies closer to home.

“With beautiful countryside and award-winning beaches, the UK is a wonderful location for a staycation and it’s great to see that lots of people are planning to make the most of what the country has to offer.”

Why do people choose a staycation?

For anyone considering investing in short-term lets and holiday homes, knowing what drives demand could be key to success. Just as successful buy-to-let landlords often have a target tenant type in mind, and ensure their property caters to the tenant’s needs, the same is true for this sector.

In a survey by Sykes Holiday Cottages at the end of last year, more than half of respondents said “visiting lesser-known places makes them feel like they are getting the most out of the UK”. A similar figure (52%) cited exploring the local area as another reason to stay close to home.

A further 47% of people said local holidays enabled them to spend time with family and friends. A high number (40%) also said they would “go out of their way” to visit less popular areas.

Keeping your options open

Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA and CEO of UnderTheDoormat, points out that UK holidaymakers have a great sense of adventure, as they are happy to visit new areas as well as the tried and tested tourist hotspots like London and Bath. Some of these areas, she says, might have been undiscovered pre-Covid.

She adds: “More property owners are recognising the demand for places to stay that are in many cases off the conventional tourist routes. By making their properties or rooms in their homes available for short term rental whilst they are away, it is now possible for visitors to stay in those locations.

“Short-term rentals offer flexible types of accommodation from apartments and houses of all shapes and sizes in cities to cottages and large farmhouses to cope with larger groups of families or friends for a ‘home-from-home’ experience in rural areas.”

By Eleanor Harvey

Source: Buy Association

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