17% of Brits plan staycations this year
Almost one in five (17%) British holidaymakers are planning a staycation in the UK this year, leading to holiday let opportunities for landlords.
Leeds Building Society found 10% of people have changed their holiday plans as a result of ongoing Brexit uncertainty, with many choosing to stay in the UK for their summer holiday.
The growth of staycations provides an opportunity for landlords to diversify their portfolios and include holiday let properties.
Matt Bartle, director of products at Leeds Building Society, said: “We were the first lender to launch a dedicated holiday let mortgage range in 2013 and continually review our products to meet the needs of borrowers.
“Demand has been growing for our products since then and we saw an almost 10% increase in Holiday Let mortgage applications in 2018 when compared with 2017, as landlords look to diversify their portfolios.”
The society also found the most desirable holiday let property for staycationers is a cottage near the coast in South West England.
England is the most desirable location in the UK, with 62% selecting it as their preferred destination, followed by Wales (36%), Scotland (21%) and Northern Ireland (2%).
Of those staycationing in England, the South West topped the polls (25%), with Yorkshire and the Humber (16%), the North West (10%), North East (9%) and South East (6%) rounding out the top five.
Almost half (49%) favoured the coast for a UK getaway, followed by a country retreat (34%) and a city break (17%).
Bartle added: “Our research indicated that traditional holiday locations, such as the South West, Yorkshire and the Lake District, remain as popular as ever.
“While coastal properties were preferred by the majority of respondents and high demand means high returns, it is important for landlords to remember performance can be seasonal and affected by the weather.
“Holiday properties in some locations may be let for as little as 20 weeks per year, so the owner has to consider how he or she will maintain mortgage repayments during void periods.
“Putting money aside during peak months could help with expenses out of season. Owners of holiday lets can also benefit from using the property themselves for their own holiday purposes.
“Buying a property as a holiday let, like any other property investment, does carry risk but it enables an investor to diversify their portfolio risk by letting weekly to a range of occupiers, rather than relying on one individual to pay their rent each month.
“Purchasing an existing holiday let in a sought-after location can provide buyers with further information on long-term performance and reassurance over the future ability to rent.”