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Second homeowners take advantage of predicted growth in staycations

Holiday lettings business cottages.com has seen a 23% growth in portfolio recruitment over the last six months, compared to the same period in 2018, as landlords take advantage of the predicted growth in staycations.

The increase, which has been seen in locations throughout the UK, comes at a time when Brexit uncertainty continues to impact people’s decisions on whether to travel abroad or holiday closer to home.

“We haven’t seen this surge in the number of new properties coming on-board before and a number of factors seemed to have combined to boost the marketplace,” Simon Altham, chief portfolio officer for cottages.com, said.

“While it’s not as simple as saying this is all down to Brexit, it is clear from our hosts’ feedback that they are looking to make the most of the UK consumers’ decision to stay closer to home this year and beyond.”

He said this uncertainty combined with a slowing housing market, is causing second homeowners to look for new ways to maximise the value of their investment and domestic tourism is one part of the economy that is continuously doing well.

Altham continued: “The rise can also be attributed to owners moving from buy-to-let to holiday lets, as a result of the recent regulation and taxation changes in the private rental sector. All of which have created a perfect storm for people looking for new income sources from property.”

The statistics also underlined a key change in the holiday letting market, with a 12% increase in super-luxury property recruitment in Q1 2019, reflected in the 4% growth in sales in high-end accommodation in new and redesigned spaces in 2019.

What’s more, the market continues to see a rising demand for short breaks and last-minute getaways, as holiday dates become more flexible to meet changing customer booking patterns.

Long-term trends within the business also point towards UK self-catering breaks increasing in demand, with a 22% growth in bookings for 2020 recorded in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

“Not only is this good news for our hosts it is also good news for the wider economy, as domestic tourism – and especially the holiday letting business – has a strong part to play helping support our rural and coastal economies,” Altham added.

“With more people encouraged to let their second homes, owners are directly contributing to the viability of the local communities, as we know visitors spend money in local attractions, pubs, restaurants and shops, thereby creating jobs and employment in these areas.

Leading destinations with the strongest growth are in the South West, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the Lake District, with Keswick topping the list in showing the largest growth in new rental properties coming onto the market.

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