Seaside holiday lets put squeeze on locals, says Rightmove

Holiday lets

The number of rental properties on the market in seaside towns has fallen as landlords have tried to cash in on the staycation boom.

The Isle of Wight has been affected most, with an 82 per cent fall in the number of homes available on long-term lets compared with the summer of 2019, according to data from Rightmove, the online property portal. There are nearly five times as many prospective tenants competing to rent available homes.

Matthew White, a director at Hose Rhodes Dickson, an estate agency on the island, said: “In more than 30 years working in lettings, I’ve never seen a rental market like it is now.”

Other places to have suffered a sharp drop in long-term rental homes include Blackpool, Northumberland and Cornwall, where numbers are down more than 70 per cent. In Blackpool, the average rental property is attracting six times as many enquiries from renters as two years ago.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, blamed the fall on landlords “chasing the huge surge in demand for holiday lets”. Typically, holiday lets offer a much better yield for owners than a 12-month tenancy.

Bannister expects landlords soon to start making their properties available on long-term lets as summer ends.