There’s no better feeling than realising the moment when your dream of buying a holiday home becomes a reality. For a few weeks or months each year you might escape there and holiday with family and friends. But for the rest of the year? Chances are it just lies empty, while you still have to cover the costs.
Over half of holidaymakers use the internet for information and over 60% book their holiday online*. With the popularity of holiday rentals increasing, many owners are learning that renting out their property makes a substantial contribution towards running costs. The prevalence of holiday rental websites such as HomeAway.co.uk has made it far easier for holiday homeowners to advertise and rent their property to a global audience of holidaymakers.
There are a variety of reasons for the increase in recent years of holiday rentals. These are largely economic factors for both parties in the holiday rental process. The owner may need to rent their holiday home through the year to cover the costs associated with the property. They may also choose to rent their property as a means of earning additional income. For holidaymakers, it is the additional space and privacy a holiday rental offers compared to that of a hotel room.
When you factor in the economics of each accommodation type, holiday rentals frequently offer the holidaymaker far better value for money, especially for families and friends who would otherwise require multiple rooms in a hotel.
Popular UK destinations and holiday rental income statistics**
|Popularity||Location||Average per week rental income (low season)*||Average per week rental income (high season)*|
|5||London (Kensington and Chelsea)||£1,547||£5,457|
|7||Edinburgh and Lothians||£417||£1,066|
|10||Scottish Highlands & Islands||£377||£677|
** (figures based on volume of enquiries in 2013 and rental rates of 2 bed properties advertised in UK on HomeAway.co.uk)
HomeAway.co.uk has seen an increasing number of properties being added inland from the coasts, in the mountains and around the lakes, and also in the cities of London and Edinburgh. The concentration of properties and holidaymaker demand does still centre firmly on the coast, however traditional cottages which represents a ‘typically UK’ holiday experience also enjoy strong demand, as today’s discerning holidaymakers look for a more authentic experience. Most notable, however, is the exceptionally strong demand for city-centre rentals in London.
The level of demand you can expect varies from region to region, with holiday homes in popular areas attracting a higher level of bookings. The increase awareness and promotion of UK (Visit Britain campaign) and more cheap flights (domestic and internationally) routes to UK (and within) has made the country even more accessible for international and domestic tourists, opening up new destinations in turn. UK is still one of the UK’s favourite tourist destinations and recent Visit Britain campaigns that have promoted its cultural and geographical diversity have widened its appeal beyond the traditional countryside holiday to city, cultural and activity breaks.
How frequently owners rent their property depends on the objectives of the owner. They may want to cover some of the costs, make the ‘pension fund’ pay for itself, or dream about a career change or living abroad.
If you are interested in using your existing (or future) property as a holiday rental, below are 5 tips you should consider:
1) Cover yourself: Make sure you’re allowed to short-let your property, understand the tax implications and take out appropriate insurance
2) Research your market: Find out which type of holidaymakers visit your area and how similar accommodation in the area is priced
3) Furnish your property for rentals: De-clutter and keep décor simple, and ensure you have all the facilities guests would expect at a self-catering home
4) Take photos & prepare a description of your property and location: You’ll need exterior shots and photos of each room, plus inspiring text highlighting features of the property and location
5) Advertise: You need to promote your property to get bookings. Creating an online advert is easy and doesn’t take long. There are a variety of holiday rental websites available for holiday home owners to choose, although a website with international visibility is recommended so that you benefit from booking enquiries all year round.
Free Tools and Downloads for holiday rental owners
If the above article has interested you and you would like to know more about holiday rentals and getting started with your own property, visit the Owner Resource at HomeAway.co.uk. You’ll find a selection of useful tools and free downloads including A Guide to Getting Started plus sample contracts and tips to make sure your holiday rental is a success.
* Source: Mintel Holiday Review January 2012.