As the UK plans to slowly lift its lockdown in the coming months, we thought we’d take a look at how the Spring and Summer seasons are shaping up for short-term lets. While we were optimistic last year, this year seems ever better. Looking at the reservations made over the past three weeks and where they fall on the upcoming calendar, we can see that, for these popular holiday destinations, the vast majority of reservations are for peak summer. While there is some very near term demand, there really isn’t much in the medium term until mid-May.
While the booking pace rebounded in the end of January, the reservations are primarily for the summer months.
Our recommendation is to focus on getting high rates for summer and not falling for the temptation to oversell to make up for 2021’s weak first quarter.
Short-term Let Demand is Already Hot for Summer
While we always expect some reservations for summer to be made now, we have already noticed the pace is more aggressive compared to 2019. Not only that, but the majority of reservations being made for this coming summer are being booked at 60-100% premiums over 2020 rates. This should be welcome news for short-term let owners who are in need of good news.
UK Residents Might Be Forced to Holiday Closer To Home
Overall, our forecast models predict an expanding demand for Summer rentals across the UK to continue in the coming weeks. A driving factor that will spur this increase in demand is that most of the major airline carriers, for example, have reduced the number of international seats from the UK to Southern Europe, standing at almost 30% below 2019 levels.
The uncertainty of the pandemic restrictions and vaccine rollouts combined with the lower demand they already see in the market will certainly force them to reckon with canceling empty flights pretty soon.
Even if UK residents do regain their will to travel abroad later in the Spring, and the restrictions across Europe are lifted, there won’t be the same supply as there would normally be. The result of fewer flights, fewer destinations, and more expensive fares will force a larger percentage of UK residents to spend their holidays on this side of the channel.
We therefore recommend property managers take the time to review how their lets are priced and pacing for the summer and make adjustments as needed.
If you need the tools to help you do this, please check out Beyond’s Insights, our performance metric tool.