Airbnbs in 2022: still a good investment?

Posted on 18 May 2022
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Airbnbs in 2022: still a good investment?

Did you know more than 10 million UK adults (that’s 1 in 5 of us) have considered becoming a holiday let landlord? The findings of Suffolk Building Society may come as no surprise after a boom in staycations and for many, those thoughts have already translated into action. The mortgage specialist witnessed both the volume of – and total value of – completions for new holiday let purchases double between 2020 and 2021.

Those who haven’t taken the Airbnb plunge may be wondering whether it’s a ship that’s already sailed, especially with international travel back on the cards. Some of us have been lucky enough to dust off our passports already or are booked to fly off somewhere overseas, so where does this leave the great British staycation – and the Airbnb property investment market?

It actually leaves it in pretty good health. Early indications show that the appetite for short stays in the UK is as strong as ever. In February, Sykes Holiday Cottages revealed its bookings so far this year were up 22% versus the same point in 2020, with a 158% rise in bookings compared to the same period in 2021.

While reasons for the continuing trend to holiday at home include convenience and environmental impact, we also have to factor in the cost-of-living crisis, which may curtail international jaunts for the foreseeable future. But before you rush out to buy a fisherman’s cottage in Cornwall faster than you can say ‘bucket and spade’, there are a few considerations for 2022’s Airbnb hopefuls.

Beauty spots come back fighting

A quick Google reveals a plethora of news articles where locals in tourist hotspots explain how they’re being squeezed out of their own property market by affluent second home owners, whose ability to spend big is pushing up property prices.

Residents of Swanage in Dorset, Salcombe in Devon, St Ives in Cornwall and Tenby in Pembrokeshire, to name a few, have spoken out regarding the influx of Airbnbs and their associated holidaymakers, who make even parking almost impossible in summer months.

Things are going to change in the latter location, however, as the Welsh Government is introducing a council tax premium on second homes as of April 2023. Instead of 100% council tax, owners of additional properties – including people who have bought a dedicated Airbnb – will see their council tax rise by up to 300%.

The move is designed to deter holiday-let investors from taking over, allowing property prices to correct themselves and give Welsh natives the chance to buy where they were born and bred. If successful, this blueprint could be followed in other areas where there’s an ownership imbalance – something worth noting if you’re researching areas in which to invest.

Think outside the suitcase

People have a tendency to pigeonhole Airbnbs as the preserve of holidaymakers, assuming they have to invest in the type of tourist hotspots mentioned above to be successful.

With a return to international travel and perhaps more edicts such as that made by the Welsh Government, more lateral thinking is needed. There’s nothing to suggest that an Airbnb has to appeal exclusively to tourists.

In fact, people need ultra short-term accommodation for a variety of reasons, including for business travel, when visiting family, during disruptive work that’s being carried out in a main residence and when there’s a gap between selling one property and moving into another. For these reasons, there are very few locations where an Airbnb won’t find an audience.

Outsourcing helps ace any Airbnb

We loved it when Matt Kelly from specialist mortgage lender Together said that ‘technology does the heavy lifting’ when providing top Airbnb investment tips to PropertyInvestorToday. He is right. Technology – alongside people-led outsourcing – enables investors to start their Airbnb journey anywhere, even if it’s in a city hundreds of miles from where they currently live.

We meet, greet & manage key handovers, anywhere in the UK

As well as our simple online booking and feedback dashboard, Viewber’s enabled services are the best friends of Airbnb investors, especially if your property has a high guest turnover.

We have a Viewber close to every single house and flat in the UK – whether that’s in a village, town or city. You can book a Viewber to meet and greet guests, hand over keys, inspect properties after a stay and collect keys at the end of a booking. We can also install a key safe at your Airbnb, provide a secure key-holding facility within close proximity of your property and provide a ‘let in and lock up’ service when you have scheduled maintenance or trades booked.

By your Airbnb’s side

If you’re thinking of investing in an Airbnb, talk to us about how Viewber can support your journey. We can be your eyes and ears, from the moment you start searching for a suitable property, through the peak holiday season and during the winter months when the focus is on maintenance. Get in touch today.

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