The UK short term rental reservations boom begins?

Impact to the UK short term rental reservations has of course been huge through 2020. However, what effects have the latest lockdown roadmap announcements had on demand across the UK? Moreover, how is vacation rental occupancy looking ahead in 2021?

At the beginning of last week, Great Britain marked actual dates for a staggered return to normality. Dates for indoor mixing, and dates for travel. Unsurprisingly this has jumpstarted UK short term rental reservations – so what does the impact look like?

Lockdown lift: what happened to UK short term rental reservations last week?

First off, let’s look at the % difference in bookings made in week 9 (last week) and those made in week 8.

From the map we can see the that even the least increased areas in lightest green saw bookings confirmed increase upwards of 34% on the previous week.

Those lowest areas were unsurprisingly all situated in inner London. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the scale North Yorkshire and Cumbria, with the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District in close proximity to urban hubs of keen escapees, have increased up to 277%. The South Coast has also seen significant increases.

In short, overall UK short term rental reservations increased 152% last week.

How do UK short term rental reservations look in context?

So bookings were considerably higher last week, but let’s put this into context. How do numbers compare with the same week last year? And what about with the rest of Europe?

The above map shows the % difference in reservations made last week and those made in the same week last year, and illustrates the standing within Europe.

Even a couple of weeks ago, the UK was quite consistently red compared with the majority of European regions. Now it looks most positive, with Cornwall receiving most bookings of anywhere in Europe relative to the same week last year.

Now of course, we must remember that these numbers are relative to when demand began to taper off as the pandemic worsened. However, there is no denying that these numbers show a long-awaited positive turn for vacation rental bookings across the country.

What does this uptick mean for short term rental occupancy outlook?

We have established that bookings are currently being made in over double the volume they had been, but how does occupancy look going forward?

Our line chart represents occupancy each week until the end of August, relative to that same week of 2019.

The first thing to note is that occupancy picks up relatively where people are booking with more confidence later in the year. The second is that not only does the picture in the UK look bright compared with other European nations with comparable supply, but that it also looks fairly positive with respect to ‘normal’ 2019.

The short term rental picture in the UK

This data represents a huge step forward from numbers reported even a couple of weeks ago.

UK short term rental reservations are double what they were last week, and markedly positive within Europe. Occupancy booked so far is also encouragingly high. But crucially, the data proves that demand is still there and ready to pick up when it can.

Learn more about what our data can do

Transparent provide data insights to maximise property manager revenue. Learn more about our PRO data dashboard, or try for free.

Rental Scale-up is a holiday rental news and analysis website. Their goal is to help owners and managers make the right business decisions, and they have written an actionable summary on the above data here.