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Truss to announce stamp duty cut – report

UK housebuilders rallied on Wednesday following a report that Friday’s mini-budget could include a plan to cut stamp duty.

According to The Times, prime minister Liz Truss will announce the move in the mini-budget in an attempt to drive economic growth. It was understood the PM and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have been working on the plans for more than a month.

Truss believes that cutting stamp duty will encourage economic growth by allowing more people to move and enabling first-time buyers to get on the property ladder, The Times said.

It cited two Whitehall sources as saying that cuts to stamp duty were the “rabbit” in the mini-budget, which the government is billing as a “growth plan”.

Under the current system, no stamp duty is paid on the first £125,000 of any property purchase. Between £125,001 and £250,000 stamp duty is levied at 2%, £250,001 and £925,000 at 5%, £925,001 and £1.5m at 10% and anything above £1.5m at 12%. For first-time buyers the threshold at which stamp duty is paid is £300,000.

During the pandemic, then chancellor Rishi Sunak lifted the stamp duty threshold to £500,000.

At 0910 BST, Persimmon shares were up 5.4%, while Taylor Wimpey and Barratt were up 4% and Berkeley was 3.5% firmer. On the FTSE 250, Redrow was 5.6% higher, while Bellway and Crest Nicholson were up 3.6% and 3.4%, respectively.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Nobody can accuse the new government of lacking an economic vision. If its low-tax approach extends to stamp duty, recent history tells us it will trigger higher levels of demand in the housing market at a time when mortgages are getting more expensive, which will support social mobility.

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“Prices could move higher in the short term if supply initially struggles to keep up but more balanced conditions will return provided the cut is immediate and permanent.”

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, referred to the potential stamp duty cut as “the old Tory trick of juicing the housing market in its heartlands to boost confidence (wealth effect) whilst doing not a lot for housing supply”.

“I’m not for concreting over the green belt at all, but there will be questions about the economic soundness of this policy, as there always is. However, with interest rates rising so quickly, an offset to the cost of buying a home would grease the wheels of the market -without higher rates could cause the housing market to seize up.”

He added: “Clearly a stamp duty cut is good news for housebuilders who can expect higher selling prices as a result.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, argued that a stamp duty cut could do more harm than good.

“Buyers are unlikely to be unhappy at the prospect of a tax cut, but if the government chooses to cut Stamp Duty in an effort to stimulate the housing market, there’s a risk it could do more harm than good.

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“It’s easy to see why the government is concerned about the housing market. We’ve seen demand fall consistently since May, when rocketing bills, rising house prices and ever-increasing interest rates started to take a toll on buyer enthusiasm. There’s a risk that if rate rises accelerate, pressure on buyers could reach a tipping point, where demand dries up.

“We know from very recent experience that a Stamp Duty holiday can stimulate demand. However, the only reason these holidays work is because people feel they have a small window of opportunity to take advantage, otherwise they’ll miss out. The point at which they think they can just wait for the next one, they will start to become less effective.

“Even if it does stimulate demand, it overlooks the fact that the real brake on the property market is a severe shortage of supply. With an average of 36 properties on each agent’s books, we’re still close to an all-time low in the availability of property for sale. Driving demand without addressing supply would risk more buyers chasing a tiny number of properties, which would push prices up.

“By ramping up prices at a time of rising mortgage rates, the end result would be higher monthly mortgage costs, which would be increasingly unaffordable. And the Stamp Duty holiday wouldn’t help on this front. This in itself could be enough to put buyers off, and if it deters enough of them, it could end up having the opposite impact to the one that’s intended.”

By Michele Maatouk

Source: Sharecast

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Holiday let mortgage enquiries remain strong post-pandemic

The holiday let mortgage market has remained popular with investors since the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, according to a new poll conducted by Hampshire Trust Bank.

Over half (55%) of broker respondents said they had written a holiday let case over the past 12 months.

84% of respondents said they had received more holiday let enquiries since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and 48% had even seen more enquiries since restrictions were lifted earlier in the year.

In addition, brokers were asked what the most popular regions in the UK for holiday let enquiries were over the past 12 months. For 54% or respondents, the South West of England was the most popular location, followed by Cumbria and the Lake District (26%), the South Coast (23%) and East Anglia (14%).

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Louisa Sedgwick, managing director of specialist mortgages at Hampshire Trust Bank, commented:

“These findings show there is still significant demand for holiday let mortgages. The staycation boom we witnessed during the pandemic shows little sign of abating in the short-term.

“The fact that almost half of brokers taking part in the webinar have seen an increase in enquires since Covid restrictions were lifted clearly indicates the strength of demand for holiday let mortgages in the UK.”

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By ROZI JONES

Source: Financial Reporter

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What you need to know before putting your home up as a holiday let

Thousands of Brits are exploring the idea of letting out their homes to holidaymakers or festival-goers this summer but don’t know how to do it. There are legal and tax obligations to be aware of, while other factors such as home insurance, cleanliness and practicalities also need to be considered.

Alok Alstrom, CEO of leading gig economy platform AppJobs, said: “Putting your home to work is often a good way to earn some extra cash, but it’s important to know how to do it safely and legally. For example, the extra income is considered taxable and it is advised to factor this into your finances and potential profit margins.

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“Meanwhile, it’s not as simple as just letting someone sleep in your spare room. There are certain standards of cleanliness, privacy and convenience that it’s recommended you adhere to. There is also a risk that things might not turn out as well as you had expected, such as a guest causing damage to your home or overstepping the boundaries.

“Make sure you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for and be confident that you are making the right decision.”

Different laws in different cities

Greater London applies a planning restriction where it is often considered a change of use if you rent out a home, and as such entire home listings in London are limited to 90 days per year unless you have the planning permission to host more frequently.

Planning permission may also be needed in Glasgow and Edinburgh, while Northern Ireland requires a licence from Tourism NI.

Some individual buildings, such as high-rise apartment complexes, can have strict rules and regulations against sublets.

Be careful to check the small print of your lease or contract to make sure you don’t fall foul of your neighbours.

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Mortgage and home insurance restrictions

Some mortgages won’t allow subletting, so it’s important to clear it with your mortgage provider to make sure it does not invalidate your policy.

The same goes for home insurance as you might need specific cover. Airbnb has a product called AirCover for Hosts that includes host damage protection and liability insurance.

Safety and emergency contacts

It’s advisable to make sure your guest is aware of what to do in an emergency, such as a fire or break-in, and who to contact. Also make sure they know where the medical supplies are should they be needed.

It’s good to flag any issues with the property that they might need to know, such as a window that doesn’t open or a plug socket that isn’t safe to use.

Being a good neighbour

Some big apartment complexes will have rules on how shared amenities such as gyms, swimming pools and rubbish disposals are used.

Make sure you communicate these rules to your guests to make sure you avoid any conflict.

By Neil Shaw

Source: Kent Live

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Hodge returns to residential loans market

Hodge has reentered the residential mortgage market for its 50-plus, retirement interest-only and holiday let mortgages, after a short break from new business.

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The bank says that after experiencing “record volumes of business” it had “made the call to close to new applications for a two-week period to restore its levels of service”.

But now says that from today, 4 July, “new applications for all products are now open again, with service level agreements back to 48 hours with other service guarantees to intermediary partners available again too”.

Hodge mortgages business development director Emma Graham says: “We pride ourselves on both our service and the fact that our underwriters assess applications on a case-by-case basis.

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“We remain fully committed to maintaining a personal approach but will continue to invest in technology to provide additional levels of automation while ensuring we’re able to offer the services our brokers have come to expect.”

The bank, which runs a savings department, says that products available through its commercial lending division remain unaffected, with this announcement only relating to personal mortgage loans.

Last month, Hodge appointed Stuart Benge as senior business development manager for commercial lending.

Benge joins Hodge with more than 25 years of finance sector experience, having previously worked with N&P Commercial and Assetz Capital, among others.

In his new role, he will be responsible for expanding Hodge’s presence in the investment property sector on a national scale.

By Roger Baird

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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UK staycations: English wine becomes a sparkling attraction for tourists as quality of product improves

UK staycations: As English wines become ever more popular and highly regarded, an increasing number of hoteliers are growing their own grapes to show guests and the rest of the world the quality on offer this side of the Channel.

Celebrity chef Michael Caines is bottling the first wines grown in the vineyard he planted four years ago in the grounds of his upmarket Lympstone Manor hotel, in East Devon.

Mr Caines said the vineyard was “always going to be a focus for the hotel given its southwest-facing parkland overlooking the Exe estuary”.

In 2018, he planted 17,500 vines, growing Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes with the aim of making “some of the finest English sparkling wine in Devon”.

However, the first wine to be bottled will be a red, “the quality of which even surprised us”, he said.

In 2020, the first harvest took place, and with the help of the Lyme Bay Winery, two wines were produced, a standalone Pinot Noir and a traditional English sparkling wine, which remains only part way through the winemaking process.

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The Pinot Noir is being launched this month ahead of the sparkling wine’s launch next year. With a nod to the ancient stretch of coastline on which the vineyard has been created, the Pinot Noir carries the name Triassic.

“I feel an immense sense of pride as well as extreme gratitude for the support we have received since we opened our doors five years ago,” said Mr Caines, who has also just launched the new pool house at Lympstone Manor.

“I set out to create somewhere very special, that combines exceptional luxury with ultimate comfort, where people can come to relax, unwind and be looked after.

“The past two years have been particularly challenging for everyone, hopefully we are now emerging to brighter days.”

Lympstone Manor is not the only hotel to have capitalised on the growing clamour for English wines. There are plenty of hoteliers hoping to create their own vintages.

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At the upper end of the price range, alongside Lympstone Manor, is Black Chalk Vineyard in Hampshire. It also sits next to water, and offers treehouses dotted throughout its woodland, from which guests can sample its award-winning sparkling wine.

One of the oldest vineyards in the UK is Three Choirs in Gloucestershire. Visitors cans even sleep among the vines on the 75-acre estate in a luxury lodge. Its wines have won a string of awards, and are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

While the south of England, especially the south-east, is the traditional hotbed for English vineyards, Ryedale bucks that trend and is the northern most location producing wines in the country.

Sitting at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds and close to the market town of Malton in North Yorkshire, Ryedale produces red, white, rosè and sparkling wines across just six acres. Visitors can also relax after an evening sampling the produce in one of two en-suite rooms in the farmhouse.

By David Parsley

Source: iNews

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Best places to buy a holiday home in the UK revealed as Wales is named top staycation spot for investors

We reveal top tips for households looking to buy a holiday home to let.

Second home ownership has come under fire but with more and more Britons opting for a staycation, holiday letting has the potential to help local economies and make property owners money, a new report says.

Sykes Holiday Cottages found properties in Blaenau Gwent in South East Wales were some of the most popular while in England Tyne & Wear and Lancashire were prized destinations for holidaymakers.

The Isle of Bute in Scotland was also popular, with Sykes’s Holiday Let Outlook Report also using insights from rental data and analytics company AirDNA.

The holiday let agency, which has over 22,000 homes on its books, said bookings were up 35 per cent compared with 2019 and enquiries from prospective holiday let investors had risen dramatically in 2022.

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The pandemic also appeared to have encouraged many people to let out their home to holidaymakers with 25 per cent of owners choosing to start letting their home out 2020.

The report also found that in 2022, compared with 2021, new owner enquiries from prospective holiday home investors had increased by 78 per cent.

With a rise in holidaying at home, Sykes’ report revealed the average holiday let owner earned £28,000 in revenue from their holiday let last year, up from £21,000 in 2019.

It added having access to luxury amenities such as open fires could boost a rental property’s earnings by 19 per cent, while a rise in pet ownership fuelled by the pandemic meant pet-friendly properties brought in one per cent more income on average.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “The shift towards staycations had already begun pre-pandemic, Covid has just accelerated this trend.

“Although international travel is becoming easier, we now have new types of staycationers.

“With the UK travel sector flourishing, this will continue to have a positive impact on the economies throughout the country that rely on tourism, particularly in coastal and countryside regions.

“In fact, nine in 10 holiday let owners we surveyed think that tourism strongly benefits the local areas around their holiday homes.”

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Where to buy

Seaside towns posted the strongest pandemic house price performance according to estate agent comparison site, GetAgent.co.uk

Its research showed that seaside towns had an average price of £340,339 and had seen the largest annual increase in value at 13 per cent, as well as the largest increase during the pandemic, up by 21.2 per cent.

“We ditched the nine to five to become holiday homeowners“

Adrian and Anita Jennings, 56 and 58, are owners of two holiday lets in Southwest Wales.

The couple own two cottages next to each other in the hamlet of Cwmbach, Kingfisher and Red Kite.

They said: “We left our 9-5 office routines back in 2015, and we haven’t looked back.”

The homes consist of a semidetached annex, formerly a village post office, plus an additional converted outbuilding.

They also have five-acres of woodland garden and we are near to Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The couple bought the original site for £340,000 back in 2015, spending around £25,000 converting it into two holiday lets plus a third property for them.”

Holiday lets – how to invest in one

Matt Kelly said anyone considering buying a holiday let should do their research.

“Even before the pandemic, we were seeing dramatic changes across the buy-to-let landscape with holiday lets steadily increasing in appeal – more so than for traditional long-term rental properties – as they allow people to tap into the UK’s many tourism opportunities.

“This is a trend we expect to continue and we expect the holiday let market to remain fairly stable in the years to come. However, there will discounts out there which may be worth considering, particularly if investors are looking to purchase out of season.

“Buyers may be able to get an even better deal by finding a property which is in a poorer condition and needs restorative or structural work.”

What to consider before investing

For anyone considering a holiday let investment this year, there are a few pros and cons to consider first:

  1. Opportunity for higher rental yields: For landlords, holiday lets had already begun to grow in popularity well before coronavirus, mainly due to the significant tax advantages as they are classed by HMRC as a business (rather than an investment).

Combined with the potential for bigger profit margins and a much higher return per-night, now could be a great time to invest in a furnished holiday cottage and rent it out to paying customers on short-term lets.

With so much demand for staycation destinations this year, landlords and second homeowners (should they wish to let out their property) can relax knowing that this process has become much simpler to manage online.

With the likes of Airbnb and other options helping you get your property listed, you can get yourself set up and ready to welcome your guests with minimal hassle.

Getting a mortgage

For those considering a second home, there may some hurdles to overcome if trying to obtain a mortgage via traditional banks or high street lenders due to the increasingly tough affordability criteria.

For example, lenders will first need to see strong evidence that you will be able to keep up with the mortgage repayments on your second home – especially if you have a mortgage for your current property. Lenders could also refuse an application depending on the location of your holiday home – especially if you’re buying a place in an area that has risk of flooding – like in the Lake District.

Costs involved

Unlike standard buy-to-lets, holiday lets have to be managed for regular visitors and therefore, there may be higher costs, such as paying for a weekly cleaner or managing agents’ fees, so these are things that consumers should consider before making any rushed decisions.

In addition, if you open your home to paying guests you’ll need to be prepared for potential damages and repairs being needed more regularly – especially after weeks of wear and tear following the summer holiday season.

By Samantha Downes

Source: iNews

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Lancashire is holiday cottage investment hotspot in staycation boom

Lancashire is one of the top areas in England to invest in a holiday home for staycations, particularly Lytham, Morecambe and Clitheroe.

With house price growth currently at 7% year on year, and an average annual rental income of nearly £23,000, the county offers excellent long-term potential for anyone looking to invest – particularly in popular tourist spots such as Lytham, Morecambe and Clitheroe.

Lancashire ranks second on Sykes Holiday Cottages’ list of top investment hotspots in England, behind only Tyne & Wear, with Shropshire rounding out the top three.

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Looking at the UK overall, Lancashire ranks in ninth behind destinations throughout North and South Wales. Blaenau Gwent in South East Wales topped the list, followed by Denbighshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The Holiday Let Outlook Report 2022 analyses Sykes’ revenue data, alongside current house prices and house price growth, to drill into the long-term investment opportunities within holiday letting across the UK.

Location and amenities are two of the most important factors in a holiday home’s success, so within the regions listed, any property must also be in a good location and offer desirable facilities to strengthen the investment potential.

Discover our Holiday Let Mortgage Broker services.

The report also contains consumer research, Sykes’ booking figures and insights from rental data and analytics company AirDNA, to paint a clear picture of the UK’s holiday let market.

According to the poll of UK holiday home owners commissioned for the report, a quarter (25%) only started letting during the pandemic, with the staycation boom fuelling a rise in people entering the market – including investors, as well as those renting a second home already owned, setting up glamping accommodation or transforming part of their home.

In fact, bookings for Sykes’ holiday lets in 2022 are up 35% compared to pre-pandemic levels – with bookings to Lancashire 76% higher this year than in 2019.

Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages, said, “The shift towards staycations had already begun pre-pandemic, Covid has just accelerated this trend. And although international travel is becoming easier, we now have new types of staycationers that are here to stay.

“Because of growing demand for breaks to Lancashire and rising house prices, there has perhaps never been a better time to invest. There are monetary benefits to entering the market, but by holiday letting you’re also helping others experience and enjoy your own part of the world while supporting the local tourism economy.”

For those looking to maximise the revenue potential of their holiday lets, Sykes’ analysis found that a hot tub is the leading money-boosting feature to install – adding an estimated 49% to annual revenue.

Income figures also suggest luxury amenities such as open fires could boost earnings by 19%, on average, while a rise in pet ownership fuelled by the pandemic has seen pet-friendly properties earn 9% more.

By Nicola Adam

Source: Lancashire Post

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Which locations top the list of holiday-let hotspots?

In a ranking of the best places in the UK to invest in a holiday let, Blaenau Gwent in South East Wales tops the list, according to a new report from Sykes Holiday Cottages.

With house price growth currently at 12% year on year, and an average revenue potential of almost £20,000 per year, the county borough offers excellent long-term potential for anyone looking to invest.

Denbighshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf follow closely behind in the new ranking, while the leading areas in England which feature on the list include Tyne & Wear and Lancashire.

Meanwhile, the Isle of Bute in Scotland came in fourth. The easily accessible island was the only area in Scotland to make it into the top ten, but both Fife and Dumfriesshire weren’t far behind.

The Holiday Let Outlook Report 2022 analyses Sykes Holiday Cottages’ revenue data, alongside current house prices and house price growth, to drill into the long-term investment potential of holiday letting across the UK.

Contact us today to speak with a specialist Holiday Let Broker to discuss how we can assist you

Location and amenities are two of the most important factors in a holiday home’s success, so within the regions listed, any property must also be in a good location and offer desirable facilities to strengthen the investment potential.

The report also contains consumer research, Sykes’ booking figures and insights from rental data and analytics company AirDNA, to paint a clear picture of the UK’s holiday let market.

According to the poll of UK holiday homeowners commissioned for the report, 25% only started letting during the pandemic, with the staycation boom fuelling a rise in second homeowners and investors entering the market.

In fact, the sector continues to go from strength to strength, with bookings for Sykes’ holiday lets in 2022 up 35% compared to pre-pandemic levels – a number that is expected to jump even further as we approach the summer months.

The consumer research found that 84% of holiday let owners say bookings for 2022 are stronger than ever, with the same number confident the trend will continue to grow over the next five years.

Discover our Holiday Let Mortgage Broker services.

The report also highlights that, compared to the same period in 2021, Sykes has seen new owner enquiries from prospective holiday home investors almost double, increasing by 78% in 2022.

With a rise in holidaying at home, Sykes’ report reveals the average holiday let owner earned £28,000 in revenue from their holiday let last year, up from £21,000 in 2019.

For those weighing up where to invest in the short-term, Cumbria and the Lake District topped the highest-earning holiday hotspots list according to Sykes’ revenue figures, with holiday lets earning an average revenue of £44,000.

Devon and Dorset follow closely behind as top-earning regions, with an average annual income of £35,000 and £32,000 respectively, while the Peak District lost its top spot, falling down to fourth place overall.

For those looking to maximise the revenue potential of their holiday lets, Sykes’ analysis found that a hot tub is the leading money-boosting feature they could have – adding an estimated 49% to annual revenue.

Income figures also suggest luxury amenities such as open fires could boost earnings by 19% on average, while a rise in pet ownership fuelled by the pandemic has seen pet-friendly properties now earn 9% more, on average.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive officer of Sykes Holiday Cottages, comments: “The shift towards staycations had already begun pre-pandemic, Covid has just accelerated this trend. And although international travel is becoming easier, we now have new types of staycationers that are here to stay.”

“The figures speak for themselves – bookings so far this year are up 35% compared with 2019 and the average income of a holiday let owner grew by almost the same amount last year versus 2019 – demonstrating the incredible investment potential that holiday letting can bring.”

He adds: “With the UK travel sector flourishing, this will continue to have a positive impact on the economies throughout the country that rely on tourism, particularly in coastal and countryside regions. In fact, nine in 10 holiday let owners we surveyed think that tourism strongly benefits the local areas around their holiday homes.”

Sykes’ top 10 picks for staycation accommodation investments in 2022 and beyond: 

LocationAverage house price & house price growthAverage gross annual holiday let income (for all property sizes)
Blaenau Gwent£129,847 (+12% YoY)£19,611
Denbighshire£210,805 (+14% YoY)£23,724
Rhondda Cynon Taf£156,396 (+12% YoY)£18,528
Bute£159,479 (+12% YoY)£16,373
Conwy county£229,555 (+11% YoY)£20,957
Gwynedd£232,306 (+20% YoY)£19,611
Carmarthenshire£197,546 (+13% YoY)£16,900
Tyne & Wear£231,867 (+29% YoY)£18,764
Lancashire£198,824 (+7% YoY)£22,931
Swansea county£185,488  (+8% YoY)£18,107

By Deborah Lewis

Source: Property Investor Today

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The top 10 UK staycation destinations for an Easter break

THOUSANDS of Brits are heading off on a staycation over Easter, as UK holidays remain a popular option for families.

Airbnb has revealed the top destinations that people are booking up over the Easter hols, to give you some inspiration on where you might like to go.

And it might come as a surprise to hear that neither Cornwall or Devon made the list.

We’ve got the top 10 destinations Brits are visiting during the holidays.

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Prestatyn, Denbighshire, Wales

Taking the top spot was Prestatyn in Wales – a seaside town in the north of the country.

Right on the coast, Prestatyn is a perfect spot for taking long walks on the beach, grabbing some fish and chips and sunbathing.

The Welsh hotspot has seen the biggest rise in Brits searching for UK staycations on Airbnb.

Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales

A Welsh destination also came in second place – Carmarthen in Camarthenshire.

Carmarthen has been a market town since Roman time and its modern indoor market runs six days a week and draws huge crowds.

Beyond the market, the town is full of independent shops, art galleries and vintage shops.

Aintree, Merseyside, England

Taking bronze was Aintree in Merseyside, coming in top for English destinations.

Aintree is known for its race course, but there’s a lot more to do than just watch the horses.

The town has shopping, pubs and walks along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, making for a very peaceful staycation.

It’s also just five miles from Liverpool so it’s easy to take a day trip into the city.

Sheffield City Centre, South Yorkshire, England

Sheffield has a huge amount to offer Brits who want to take a UK holiday.

The city has gone from being an industrial powerhouse to a rising star on the UK’s arts and culture scene, with a host of galleries, theatres and museums.

Sheffield also has countless restaurants, pubs and shops to keep you entertained.

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Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Balloch is the first Scottish destination to make it onto the list.

The village is sat on the south west shores of Loch Lomond so there are plenty of beautiful walks along the lake.

It’s just an hour from Glasgow and has excellent transport links so it’s easy to pop to the nearby city if you fancy a day trip.

Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England

Chipping Norton is the highest town in Oxfordshire with stunning countryside views.

The town is known for its antique shops and regular market, and has lots of choice of restaurants and bars.

Chipping Norton is a great base for exploring further afield as it’s right on the edge of the Cotswolds, lying between Oxford and Stratford upon Avon.

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Dunbar is the second and final Scottish destination to make the top 10 list.

The town is on the North Sea coast and is around 30 miles east of Edinburgh.

Dunbar is famous for its art and has a free interactive art trail which is a perfect way of seeing the town.

As well as art, Dunbar is packed full of independent shops and historic buildings.

Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales

Merthyr Tydfil is the third and final Welsh destination on Airbnb’s list.

The town is about 23 miles north of Cardiff so it’s a great spot to have some peace and quiet while still being fairly near to a city.

If you like walking then this is a perfect choice as the town has a host of valleys and hills with beautiful views.

And once you’ve finished, there’s loads of restaurants, pubs and cafes to grab a drink and a meal.

Lowestoft, Suffolk, England

Lowestoft in Suffolk came in at number nine on the list and is the northernmost part of The Suffolk Coast.

It is also famously the most easterly town in the UK and is the first place to see the sunrise.

The town is a popular choice for families as there is plenty to do, with two piers, a wildlife park, museums and a theatre.

It’s even home to the Pleasurewood Hills theme park – perfect for thrill seekers.

Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England

Rounding out the top 10 list was Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

The town is sat midway between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales so it’s a great choice if you want to strap your walking boots on and set off on foot.

The historic town has a cobbled market square full of independent shops, restaurants and pubs.

Amanda Cupples, general manager for northern Europe at Airbnb, said: “The nation is set to enjoy the first Easter weekend without Covid restrictions in two years, and it’s great to see Brits are exploring up-and-coming areas of the UK to make the most of it.

“The top trending destination list provides ample inspiration for those looking to get away and explore a new place over the long weekend.

“By visiting these local destinations, Brits are supporting local economies and communities, and for those based in these destinations who are considering letting their home on Airbnb, now is a great time to sign up.”

By Josie Klein

Source: The Sun

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How to become a holiday let landlord in the UK

The holiday let sector is big business as the UK’s tourism industry opens up, and it can offer a high-yielding alternative to traditional buy-to-let.

Recent research has found that as many as 10 million UK adults are considering becoming holiday let landlords, or toyed with the idea during the pandemic. Holidays are just one of the lifestyle changes brought about by lockdowns and travel restrictions, but they could be a permanent shift for some.

The survey by Suffolk Building Society found that, of the one in five adults (17%) who thought owning a short-term let or holiday rental was a good idea, younger people aged 18-34 were leading the trend.

According to the building society’s records, the volume and total value of completions for new holiday let sales doubled between 2020 and 2021, as both existing and new landlords entered the fold to offer thousands of staycationers more choice of accommodation.

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Is a holiday let a long-term option?

People’s behaviours and preferences have changed, sometimes drastically, over the course of the pandemic. Where holidays are concerned, international travel hasn’t been possible, and it’s opened up the idea of ‘staycations‘ to more people than ever.

As travel overseas becomes easier, some expect the number of people taking holidays in the UK to fall. However, like the working from home trend, the change was already taking place pre-pandemic, with many opting to stay local for cost or environmental reasons, for example.

Matt Kelly points out that the holiday let option was steadily increasing in appeal for landlords even before Covid hit. For some, they were becoming the preferred option over long-term rental homes.

“This is a trend we expect to continue, and we expect the holiday let market to remain stable in the years to come. However, there will discounts out there which may be worth considering, particularly if investors are looking to purchase out of season.

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“Buyers may be able to get an even better deal by finding a property which is in a poorer condition and needs restorative or structural work. Holiday lets located in seaside towns, for example, tend to be more susceptible to damage caused by floods, salt air corrosion, storms and rotting wood.

“That means they often come with higher maintenance and repair costs, so anyone hoping to scoop a post-pandemic bargain by investing in a doer-upper would be wise to measure the upfront cost against the yearly upkeep.”

However, he points out that for those looking to make the most of the upcoming high season, a ready-made property would provide returns much more quickly.

How to get a mortgage

Due to the growth in the sector, rising numbers of lenders have entered the field, and the number of products available has increased. The heightened competition has held down mortgage rates, which is good news for those looking to borrow to invest.

Matt Kelly adds: “However, for more unusual properties such as a fisherman’s cottage, getting a traditional loan may be a bit trickier.

“Unlike many mainstream mortgage providers, specialist lenders have flexible criteria and can look into a customer’s background, their chosen property, financial position and other factors, to fully assess their position before making a lending decision.”

Charlotte Grimshaw comments: “It’s easy to understand why the idea of owning a holiday let home is so attractive. As people were limited to holidaying in the UK, often within an area they know and love, their eyes were opened to the opportunity of increasing their income, as well as enjoying a property for personal use too.

“Our advice to anyone considering this route, would be to ensure you understand the criteria that mortgage lenders will be looking for as it can be quite different to a standard residential mortgage application, or even a standard buy to let mortgage too.”

Benefits of holiday lets

Many people are attracted to short-term lets due to the higher rental yields they can offer compared to a traditional buy-to-let. This has been heightened for some by things like landlord licensing costs and the reduction in mortgage interest tax relief.

There are certain tax advantages to owning a holiday let, too. They are classed by HMRC as a business rather than an investment, so owning a furnished holiday cottage can be extremely lucrative.

By Eleanor Harvey

Source: Buy Association