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Holiday homes on the rise: Homeowners set to make nearly £1bn from staycationers

Published: 29 July 2020 - Neil Mead

Holiday homes are the latest trend to arise from lockdown, suggests new research from UK’s leading trade directory Checkatrade,* with 30% of Brits considering letting their homes out to staycationers this year. They stand to make a potential £986 million from the Brits planning to splash the cash on holidaying in the homeland this year.


Investing in improving the home may be worth it for those embarking on their new source of income as those planning a holiday home retreat say they would be willing to spend an additional £347 per person to have WOW features – like cinema rooms or a hot tub – in their holiday accommodation this year. Searches for the installation of staycationers’ most in-demand features – swimming pools and hot tubs – on Checkatrade surged by 137% and 229% respectively during lockdown versus pre-lockdown**, suggesting some may already be planning how to renovate their homes this summer to attract staycationers now that restrictions are being lifted.

The ‘Love Island’ effect means that a huge 58% of people said they’d be willing to pay extra for a holiday let with a Love Island villa-style garden, which is great news for new holiday home owner Derry Green, 37, from Merseyside, who recreated the villa in his own back garden with the help of his two children (aged five and eight). Derry is renting out the glamping pod on AirBnB, resulting in over 10,000 requests about bookings, with the pod already sold out until November.

Top ten most in-demand home features for 2020 staycations are:

Percentage of staycationers who would pay extra for the features

1.      Swimming pool                                                                 81%
2.      Hot tub                                                                                74%
3.      Patio / outdoor entertaining space Home beach        72%
4.      Home beach                                                                       71%
5.      Cinema / home entertainment / games room             66%
6.      Sauna                                                                                  64%
7.      Pub / bar / BBQ area                                                        64%
8.      Conservatory / sun room                                                63%
9.      Summer house / treehouse                                            59%
10.    Love Island villa-style garden                                         58%

Top tips from Checkatrade for those looking to start a holiday home side business:

  1. Consider which WOW features will help kickstart your holiday home successfully! Checkatrade research shows that hot tubs and games rooms could add an extra £20 and £17 respectively to what people are willing to pay for staycation accommodation per night
  2. If you don’t have experience in outdoor builds, be sure to consult a qualified tradesperson before beginning any construction. And don’t forget to let your neighbours know before you start making big changes!
  3. If you’re strapped for cash but want to let out your property, consider making a relatively simple change like giving the walls a fresh lick of paint and getting the windows cleaned when taking pictures. Again, for tip top results, it’s best to consult a professional
  4. Don’t forget the practicalities – do you need to build in additional storage for your things and your guests, do you want to make a pet-friendly property by enclosing your garden and making sure you have the right flooring?
  5. If you plan to let out your property multiple times, it’s worth investing in a reliable professional cleaner between each visit to make sure there are no complaints

Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, said, “With so many Brits looking to start letting out their homes to make a bit of extra cash this year, it’s clear that homeowners could stand to benefit by upgrading their homes before letting them out. With disastrous DIY currently costing the UK a huge £10.8 billion nationally***, getting Checkatrade’s vetted professionals in can be the best use of cash and time for those looking to save time and make money.”

To help Brits upgrade their homes to secure maximum interest from staycationers this year, Checkatrade has created a number of guides to give homeowners a helping hand, including how to build a home gym, how to create your own summer house, and a guide on how to make your own Love Island-inspired oasis (inspired by Derry Green’s experience).


* Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Checkatrade. Total sample size was 2,001 UK adults. Survey conducted online between 17th and 21st July 2020.
**Data from the period April to June 2020 in comparison to January to March 2020
*** Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Checkatrade. Total sample size was 2,002 UK adults. Survey conducted online between 1st and 4th May 2020.



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