Industry Insights

Why 2022 Is the Perfect Time to Invest in the Short-Term Rental Market in the UK

March 17, 2022 |

The pandemic caused a lull in holiday rentals as lockdowns and isolation periods limited our ability to travel. But now that life is returning to some semblance of normality, the interest in short-term rentals is picking up once again. In fact, this form of property purchase could be the best to invest in 2022 – here’s why. 

Travel Restrictions Have Bolstered the Property Market

The regulations surrounding international travel have actually propelled the property market as more of us seek local opportunities to explore and engage in ‘staycations’ in place of travelling abroad. This has boosted the interest in short-term lets, particularly in coastal towns and more remote locations. 

Experts suggest that, combined with the projected 5.3% economic growth for the year ahead, there are plenty of investment opportunities in the short-term rental market. After two years of primarily being stuck inside, more people are looking for the chance to get outdoors and explore nature once again, meaning that the most popular short-term rental markets are situated near national parks, wide-open spaces, and coastal areas. 

Unique Opportunities for Creative Lets

There’s a desire for offbeat homes, as demand for unique properties that offer something a little different increases. Travellers are looking for places that feel like an adventure, whether it’s tiny homes, yurts or treehouse stays. 

For property investors, there’s a chance to get creative and transform structures into unusual holiday lets and short-term rentals that offer something more unique and memorable. From themed properties to storage container homes and cave homes, 2022 is the year that we put our imagination to the test with rental properties. 

Research by specialist material supplier Southern Sheeting found that the pandemic inspired a new wave of people to take up DIY projects for themselves, with 34% of Brits surveyed saying they completed more home improvement projects since the start of the first lockdown. They’ve noted customers tackling a wide range of unique DIY projects, from installing garden bars to transforming farm trailers into shepherd huts. When it comes to property investments in 2022, the more unique and creative they can be made, the better.

The Appeal of Flexible Living

An interesting trend that short-term rental platforms have noted is the increase in longer bookings, with the likes of 28-day bookings or longer making up a growing share of the market. 

Following a slow period of bookings over the past two years, short-term investors needed to get creative with how they made a profit. The result was a strategy built around what these platforms deem “long-term lets” and flexible partnerships with traditional estate agencies and property professionals to allow them to take over properties during low seasons and rent out to tenants or travellers ‘working from home’. 

It’s expected that in 2022, with remote working becoming an increasingly common option for businesses, more people will be taking advantage of the nomadic lifestyle and booking short-term lets as a way of combining travel and exploration with their everyday lives. 

Built to Rent Experiencing a Post-pandemic Boom

The increased demand for short-term rentals hasn’t gone unnoticed by developers, and as a result, many are turning their attention to Build to Rent (BTR) blocks which offer housing on a flexible basis for digital nomads and travellers looking for a more homely place to stay while travelling. It’s the blend of flexibility and luxury accommodation that sets BTR apart from standard rentals, and it’s something that’s expected to rise exponentially in the coming years. 

Demand for BTR has been driven by millennials and Gen Z, who are increasingly choosing to live in purpose-built rentals with high-quality facilities such as on-site gyms and luxury décor as part of the deal. BTR investors are poised to make huge returns as the market grows. The key to making BTR a success as part of the short-term rental market is fusing luxury amenities with comfort and flexibility. Frictionless access such as smart technology and keyless entry will be a part of taking the heavy lifting out of renting a property on a short-term basis. 

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that the tourism and short-term rental industries have been hit hard by the pandemic. But now that the world is opening up more, there are incredible opportunities for investors and developers to take advantage of. 

With more of us able to work flexibly and seeking more adventure in our lives, whether where we stay or the type of property we stay in, there’s never been a better time to make the most of property investment by putting your efforts towards short-term rentals. 

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