Holiday Letting: Choose The Right Place
Holiday lets is something I’ve been looking into recently as a potential option for my next investment. I thought I would give a bit of an introduction for others interested in the option. This will be the first post in a multi-part series related to holiday lets as I continue down the rabbit hole. The first in the series for holiday letting: choose the right place.
What is holiday letting
In it’s simplest definition, holiday letting is the process of renting out your property to holiday makers wanting to take a break for a long weekend, or week away somewhere. If you’ve used platforms like airbnb before – It’s that kind of thing.
Why focus on holiday letting?
In an earlier post – Property Market Predictions, I took the view that holiday lets will increase in popularity over the next 5 years. The reason for this is because I think COVID-19 has had some quite significant behavioural and circumstantial changes to the UK population. “Staycations” in my view, will become increasingly popular over the next few years. Some of the more specific reasons for this are as follows:
People’s attitude to going abroad
Certainly in the immediate future – people are scared. You only have to look at the very recent announcement about Spain to see that there is still global uncertainty. Anything could happen at any time. With this in mind people are looking to our own shores rather than abroad. For those who already own and operate a holiday let I can imagine they are doing very well right now.
Did you know that the price of dogs has soared over the outbreak period? More people are at home and have thought the pandemic has given them a good opportunity to buy a dog. Families with dogs form a big part of the staycation market. In theory – the more families who have dogs mean the bigger the market will be.
Travelling abroad may become more expensive
One of the big questions coming out of the pandemic is what the impact will be to the international travel and tourism industry. Will airlines, hospitality, tourist attractions survive? If we start to lose some of the big players – prices may go up as a result. If prices go up, people may not be able to afford to go abroad as a result.
The UK Economy
We know the government is putting some big plans in place to try and prop up recovery and minimise any recession we do feel – nevertheless it’s inevitable that some people’s financial situation will suffer. With less disposable cash – families will look to holiday in comparatively cheaper methods – UK staycations are one of these methods.
The Appreciation of Britain’s Beauty
This point is a bit more positive than some of the others. One of the good things about pandemic is that people have taken more of an interest in the outdoors. Parks and beauty spots have become more popular than ever. Are people more likely to want to explore the UK’s great outdoors? It’s a possibility.
Location is key to holiday letting, choose the right place
That’s enough about why I’m looking into the holiday let market. Let’s get to the crux of the article now. How do you choose the right place to base your holiday let in?
The thing about holiday lets is you need to be in a place where people want to visit. It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised about how many I have spotted in some questionable areas. The more attractive or desirable an area – the more likely you are to attract staycationers. It’s a no-brainer. If it’s not somewhere you’d like to spend a week or a long weekend holidaying yourself – keep looking.
It’s not just about where in the UK the property is though, there’s more to it than that. One of the biggest factors of a holiday let’s success can be based around what’s ‘nearby’. What are the local amenities like? Don’t just get something in the middle of nowhere, yes that may be nice for some people who want a break away from everything – but you are limiting your market that way. Some amenities are important. A shop for example, people will need to be able to feed themselves whilst they are away. A local pub? Always a winner, let’s be honest.
Next on the list – tourist attractions or local events. Think about what is going to make people want to come and visit the area? Yes a lovely picturesque view is one thing… But what else have you got? A beach? A national park? Maybe even a capitalise on other industries – Motorsport events for example. If there’s nothing of note nearby then keep looking. Don’t limit your potential market.
Location is one thing, but property type is just as important
So you’ve chosen where you want to base your holiday let… Great! Now the next big thing is making sure you get the right sort of property for your target market.
Different locations will attract different kinds of people. Different kinds of people will have different needs from a property. Bear this in mind! There’s not much point trying to turn a 2 bed apartment with no outside space in the middle of the peak district into a holiday let… By doing that you automatically limit the market you’re trying to target. Take that apartment and move it into Central London however… And you’ve got a winning formula.
Communal space. People don’t go on a holiday let to spend all their time in the bedroom. Well, some people do… but this is a family friendly blog! People tend to go on a holiday let as more of a social gathering. A chance to spend time with family or friends that you don’t otherwise get to do in the routine of the daily grind. With that in mind – make sure that people have a space to do that in. A nice space at.
Bathrooms. Arguably one of the most important internal features of the holiday let – especially when you’re targeting a place with multiple couples or larger families. The one family bathroom just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to be able to configure a place according to your occupancy. If you’ve got 3 double bedrooms, then get 3 bathrooms. 2 double bedrooms – 2 bathrooms… You get the point, en-suites are preferable too!
Outside of that, think about your target market – not just in what type of property – but also what’s in it. Outdoor space helps, even a hot tub in some places. Do your best to make it as attractive as possible without going crazy and killing your profitability or return.
Don’t forget, you’ll need to furnish
In an earlier post, I talked about staging a house to improve your chances of sale. Staging a house is one thing but holiday lets take it a stage further. You need it to look nice and homely for your pictures and marketing, but you also need it to be practical. Remember that people will be coming to stay there so they will need things to be able to live there. Towels, bed sheets, hairdryers – even teaspoons (don’t forget the teaspoons)! All of this comes at an additional cost and may need to be regularly replaced – budget accordingly and in accordance to your target market.
That’s all for now, If you’re interested in holiday letting, I hope this will help you choose the right place to base your new venture. There will be more articles to come on this as I continue down the rabbit hole, stay tuned.