The price of February half-term holiday homes have shot up by close to 50% in some areas in just three years, claims new research.
Going on a staycation within the UK used to be considered the cheaper holiday option for families.
Compared to jetting off abroad and the costs associated with flights and passports it was seen as a cheap but cheerful choice, however the cost-of-living crisis has changed this.
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A Cornwall holiday let cost £136 a night on average when booked through Airbnb or Vrbo in 2020, consumer researchers Which? found.
This year, that has risen to a massive £203!
Which means holidaymakers must shell out over £1,400 for a week-long stay, with cleaning and service fees on top, reports the Mirror.
The most expensive place to book a half-term Airbnb or Vrbo stay is Dorset, with holidaymakers forking out an average of £242 per night – 36% more than in February 2020.
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Nightly rates in Norfolk, Kent, West Wales, Devon, North East England and the Lake District all jumped by 40% or more since 2020.
The popularity of self-catering stays rocketed during the pandemic, especially in rural and coastal destinations.
Demand is down so far compared to last year – and yet Airbnb prices have continued to rise in many tourist hotspots, according to data from short-term rental analyst AirDNA.
Holiday lets in West Wales have risen by 23%, with a week’s stay costing £455 more than it did last February, on average.
Airbnb has disputed the research, saying that close to half of guests reported saving money by using the platform.
A spokesperson for the company said: “This data is extremely misleading, and making comparisons to the beginning of the pandemic is not an accurate reflection of prices on the platform.
"Hosts on Airbnb provide affordable accommodation options across the country and 1 in 3 say the extra income helps them afford rising living costs.
"Nearly half of guests say booking on the platform saved them money and a quarter said they specifically chose Airbnb over other types of accommodation for the same reason.”
City breaks fell out of favour during the pandemic, and demand is down considerably in London and Edinburgh compared to February half-term 2020 – but prices have still risen by around a third.
Below is a list of the places where the price of renting an Airbnb or Vrbo in the February half-term has increased the most.
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Average nightly rate in February half-term 2020 compared to the average nightly rate in February half-term:
- Cornwall; £136; £203; 50% increase
- Kent; £155; £230; 48%
- Norfolk; £163; £239; 46%
- West Wales; £144; £209; 45%
- North East England; £131; £189; 44%
- Devon; £167; £239; 43%
- Lake District; £156; £218; 40%
- Dorset; £177; £242; 36%
- Highlands; £131; £178; 36%
- Edinburgh; £126; £168; 33%
- London; £168; £220; 31%
The research found that the cost of renting an Airbnb and a hotel room are now similar.
The price of a one-bed Airbnb or Vrbo cost around £5 less than the cost of a hotel room in London for February half-term, the research found.
In Edinburgh, the average hotel rate in half-term is £98, while you’ll typically pay £90 for a night in a one-bed Airbnb or Vrbo – with the cleaning and service fee on top.
Hotels aren't your only option. When we compared the average price of a two-bed rental in February half-term.
The research found that a stay booked through the UK’s biggest cottage providers – cottages.com, holidaycottages.co.uk and Sykes – was cheaper than Airbnb or Vrbo.
The biggest price difference was in the Lake District, where the average cost of a two-bed rental was £200 more expensive. You’d typically pay £640 for a week’s stay if you booked through the cottage providers, compared to £882 for an Airbnb or Vrbo rental.
In both Norfolk and Devon, a two-bed holiday let booked through the cottage providers cost around £175 less, on average.
Vrbo has been contacted for comment.
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