Holiday let owners in Scotland are in the midst of one of the busiest summers on record following the uneasing from lockdown restrictions, according to brand new research from Sykes Holiday Cottages.
It found a third (31%) of Brits will enjoy a staycation in Scotland this year – with three quarters (76%) of Scots also holidaying in their own country this year.
The inaugural Scotland Staycation Index 2021 analyses Sykes Holiday Cottages’ booking internal booking data from January 2014 to July 2021, consumer research and revenue data.
Supporting consumer research of 2,000 UK adults and 1,000 Scottish adults was carried out by Censuswide in July 2021.
With foreign travel restrictions still in place, Sykes’ Index highlights a 22% uplift in Scottish holiday let bookings for this summer compared to 2019, and a 46% increase for autumn and winter.
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Sykes reports 92% occupancy rate for its Scottish holiday lets over June, July and August 2021. It found that July had 70% more bookings this year than in 2019.
It claims that holiday lets in Scotland faced a 52% increase in bookings following the UK and Scottish Government unveiling the roadmap out of lockdown in February.
The company also revealed that the staycation boom this year is anticipated to boost the Scottish economy by £16bn.
The index also reveals that, prior to the pandemic, the average Sykes owner in Scotland earned £16,000 in revenue per year from their holiday let – a number that is expected to jump dramatically this year due to the rise in bookings.
And with income potential rising, the pandemic has also fuelled a 65% increase in enquiries from second homeowners and investors looking to get into holiday letting versus last year.
The research revealed a quarter (24%) of Scots say the pandemic has made them more likely to consider holiday letting as a means to providing extra income at some point in the future.
The Highlands and Islands is one of the most lucrative destinations for holiday let owners in Scotland, with an average revenue of almost £19,000 for a three-bedroom property annually.
It is also the most popular region for travel in Scotland in 2021, according to Sykes’ booking data.
Perth & Kinross was £16,300 for a three bedroom property with Aberdeenshire for a three bedroom property bringing up to £21,000 with both also featuring in the list of popular destinations for bookings this summer.
Sykes’ analysis compared its owners’ rental income with Scottish government rental figures, along with house price data from Home.co.uk, to reveal the areas with the strongest return of investment return on interest (ROI) in Scotland.
Ayrshire came out on top, with an average ROI of 12% for holiday lets in this area compared to an average of 5% for longer term buy-to-let properties.
Holiday let owners in Fife could see a potential ROI of 11%, compared to buy-to-let investors whose returns in this region average 5%.
Sykes also reports that guests are looking for a little luxury in Scotland, with the holiday let agency seeing a 59% increase in bookings to its more luxurious properties compared to prior to the pandemic.
By John Glover
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