Holiday home owners are making third more money in 2021 than they did in 2019, as the popularity of staycations continues.
The average annual income generated by a holiday home in 2021 was nearly £28,000 – up 33 per cent on 2019, according to data from rental agency Sykes Cottages.
This was due in part to a 35 per cent increase in occupancy rates, it said, with homes in the Lake District having the highest occupancy at 80 per cent.
It also found that Dorset, the Cotswolds, and the Peak District were the top three earning locations for owners in 2021, while Devon and Somerset rounded out the top five.
The Cotswolds is one of the most popular locations for staycations, new data shows
Based on the average income figures for a four-bedroom holiday let, those in Dorset earn their owners nearly £36,000 per year.
Meanwhile, four-bed properties in the Cotswolds and the Peak District generate just over £35,000 and almost £34,000 respectively.
The income uplift came as many shunned foreign holidays due to travel restrictions and ongoing uncertainty.
In terms of occupancy rates, the Lake District was closely followed by Northumberland, the Peak District, Southern Scotland and the North York Moors.
In all of these locations, holiday homes were rented out for more than 78 per cent of days in the year.
Bev Dumbleton, chief operating officer at Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: ‘2021 was certainly the year of the staycation, as we saw the strong demand for UK-based accommodation culminate in record occupancy rates and a significant boost in average yearly income.
‘With the interest in holidays closer to home likely to remain a fixture for years to come, those considering investing in a holiday home in 2022 could see great success – particularly if they choose a location which has proven fruitful for those already in the market this year.’
Regions with the highest occupancy rates in 2021
1. Cumbria & the Lake District – 80.2%
2. Northumberland – 80.1%
3. Peak District – 78.6%
4. Southern Scotland – 78.6%
5. North York Moors – 78.4%
% days in the year that the property was occupied
Top-earning regions for holiday homes in 2021
1. Dorset – £35,864
2. The Cotswolds – £35,027
3. Peak District – £33,833
4. Devon – £33,071
5. Somerset – £32,708
Based on the average annual income of a four-bedroom property
How to make your holiday home more profitable
Sykes Cottages has put together five tips to help holiday let owners make their home more profitable.
1) Shorter breaks: Could lead to a 58 per cent increase in revenue
Enabling travellers to book shorter stays of two to four days at properties will open up the calendar to a lot more bookings.
Sykes has found that holiday homeowners who opt to do this can expect to make 58 per cent more per year than those who don’t.
Offering shorter breaks attracts guests who might only want to book a couple of days off during the working week, such as groups of friends, students or couples, as well as those who prefer full weeks. By doing this, owners are ensuring the property is less likely to have any weeks where it is empty and not making money.
2) Dress up your garden: Up to 15 per cent increase in revenue
After 18 months of on-and-off restrictions forcing people to stay inside, it’s little surprise that holiday homes with gardens earn 15 per cent more than those without.
Cty dwellers, families and holidaymakers with pets are particularly likely to look out for homes with outdoor space – especially if they’re looking to visit during the summer months.
To make sure a garden is holidaymaker- ready, homeowners might even consider investing in professional help to keep it looking its best all year round.
3) Give guests the option to get cosy: Up to 21 per cent increase in revenue
During the colder months, there’s nothing better than warming up by a fire after a winter walk.
This rings true with UK travellers, as Sykes has seen properties with an open fire or log burner earn 21 per cent more than those without.
With a working fireplace now a rarity in many homes across the country, ensuring a holiday let has a log burner not only gives guests somewhere to dry off after a day of exploring, but it can also help to create a welcoming atmosphere.
The Peak District is an area of the UK that has one of the highest occupancy rates in 2021
4) Consider installing some luxuries: Up to 66 per cent increase in revenue
Depending on the holiday home’s size, installing luxuries such as a hot tub, sauna, pool table or games room could help to draw all types of guests year-round.
Especially with the weather being so unreliable, holidaymakers are often looking for alternatives to fill their time if they’re unlucky enough to experience rain throughout their staycation.
While providing these extras can be costly, Sykes has seen holiday let owners reap the rewards and earn up to 66 per cent more for a hot tub, 33 per cent more with a pool table and 61 per cent more with a sauna.
5) Make sure your location works: Up to 21 per cent increase in revenue
For those who have not yet invested in a holiday home, they must ensure they research a potential property’s location as this is key to securing a good number of bookings throughout the year.
Sykes has found that properties in towns earn 21 per cent more than those in cities and 9 per cent more than those in smaller settlements – suggesting that staycationers like a location that offers them some level of remoteness, but still somewhere with lots to see and do.
Homeowners might also consider somewhere near the coast or one of the UK’s national parks, with many holidaymakers keen to take on walking trails and enjoy picturesque scenery.
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