A surge in UK holiday lettings is being claimed by Cottages.com amid forecast growth in staycations.

The domestic operator has seen its portfolio expand by 23% in the last six months over the same period a year earlier.

The rise has come at a time when the UK housing market has stagnated, while Brexit continues to impact peoples’ decision whether to travel abroad or holiday closer to home, according to the Awaze-owned firm.


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Long-term trends point towards increased demand for UK self-catering breaks, with a 22% growth in bookings for 2020 recorded in the first half of 2019.

Cottages.com chief portfolio officer Simon Altham said: “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.

“Firstly, 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.

“Secondly, when this uncertainty is combined with a slowing housing market, second homeowners are clearly looking at new ways to maximise the value of their investment, and domestic tourism is one part of the economy that is continuing to do well.

“And finally, 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 market also continues to see demand for short breaks and last-minute getaways grow, as holiday dates become more flexible to meet changing customer booking patterns.

“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,” said Altham.

“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.”

Destinations with the strongest growth are in the south-west, Yorkshire, East Anglia and Lake District, with Keswick topping the list in showing the largest growth in new rental properties coming into the market.

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