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STR owners are worried – but planning to scale

Sykes Holiday Cottages, STR hosts worried
The Cotswolds is the highest earning region in the UK according to Sykes Holiday Cottages.

Sykes Holiday Cottages has released its latest report – and it’s showing mixed sentiment among short-term rental owners in the UK.

While 65% of owners are worried about changes to the sector, half say they are likely to buy another investment property in the near future – despite government plans to abolish the furnished holiday lettings tax regime.

Eighty-six per cent of owners say they are likely to continue to rent their holiday let, while 87% said they may have to increase prices to cover any additional taxes they incur.

The report – based on Sykes’ internal bookings, revenue, and owner data, along with consumer research and findings from a recent Professional Association of Self-Caterers survey – found the average turnover of a UK holiday let rose to £24,500 in 2023, up from £24,000 a year earlier.

Northumberland, Sykes Holiday Cottages, STR hosts worried
Towns in the Northumberland region dominate the list of up and coming holiday rental hotspots.

Sykes found an 8% increase in bookings year-on-year in 2023 – up 71% versus pre-pandemic levels. And – interestingly – Sykes received 60,000 enquiries from new owners last year – double that of 2019 volumes, and indicative of the many new players in the sector.

Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Staycations have been growing in popularity over the past decade and right now demand for our UK holiday cottages is higher than ever, with the average annual income of a holiday let owner up as a result.

“But of course, the past 12 months have been slightly different for the industry – and this latest report therefore also reflects how we have been supporting our owners through recent changes and how they are feeling.

“Despite changes, it is clear that holiday letting remains a profitable and rewarding long-term business model, with the nation’s love of holidaying at home and exploring our incredible country going nowhere.”

Hot tub, Sykes Holiday Cottages, STR hosts worried
The most searched for amenity is a hot tub.

Top ten highest earning regions in the UK

  1. Cotswolds – £28,500 per year

  2. Cumbria & The Lake District – £28,200

  3. Dorset – £27,000

  4. Cornwall – £26,500

  5. Peak District – £26,500

  6. Highlands and Islands – £25,100

  7. Northumberland – £25,000

  8. East Anglia – £24,900

  9. South Coast – £24,500

  10. North Wales – £24,400

Up and coming holiday rental hotspots

These locations achieved the greatest increase in income between 2022 and 2023:

  1. Seahouses, Northumberland +36% (£21,900 to £29,700)

  2. Bamburgh, Northumberland +25% (£24,100 to £30,100)

  3. Alnwick, Northumberland +19% (£18,300 to £21,800)

  4. Alnmouth, Northumberland +17% (£24,500 to £28,600)

  5. Grasmere, Cumbria +12% (£38,400 to £43,100)

  6. Ambleside, Cumbria +12% (£29,300 to £32,900)

  7. Betws-y-Coed, Conwy +11% (£23,800 to £26,500)

  8. Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire +10% (£18,400 to £20,200)

Most searched for amenities

  1. Hot tub

  2. Wi-Fi

  3. Pub proximity

  4. Garden

  5. Swimming pool


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