Accommodation Price Report: how much to pay where

Data source information:

All prices and rankings shown in this section are based on demand and prices actually paid data by HomeAway UK customers between 1st January-31st December 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. 

The prices and rankings shown for inbound travel to the UK are based on demand and prices actually paid data by all customers from the Vrbo network travelling to the UK between 1st January-31st December 2019, compared with the same period in 2018, excluding HomeAway UK customers. 

The prices shown are in local currency, reflecting both, movements in currency and holiday home pricing. All prices are rounded to the nearest pound sterling and the percentages are rounded to the nearest percentage point. 

Around the world in 100 destinations

With the continued weakness in the pound during 2019, HomeAway UK data showed that British holidaymakers paid more to stay in 89 of their favourite top 100 destinations in 2019, when compared with 2018, with nine other prices falling and two remaining stable. 

However, although several of the increases were at the level of 20% or more, prices overall remained very competitive with more than half of the top 100 favourites recording an average of £40 per person per night or less. 

Where British HomeAway holidaymakers paid the most in global destinations 

Looking at the highest prices paid for holiday rental accommodation in 2019 in the top 100 most popular international destinations, HomeAway UK data showed that Cannes claimed the top spot with a rise of 19% to £86 per person and night, followed by New York, despite the city seeing a decrease of 11% to £84.

Spain, the perennial favourite for a family holiday with its hours of sunshine and long sandy beaches, had three entries in the top 10 based on price, all in the Balearic Islands. In Ibiza, the average paid in Ibiza Town was up 14% also on £84 per person and night, with Sant Josep de sa Talaia up 7% to £74. In Mallorca, Soller grew 8% to £61. The country saw a slight increase of 1% in tourist arrival numbers for the first 11 months of 2019, although visits from the UK fell by just over 2%.

The restrictions placed on hotel and rental accommodation places in Amsterdam in recent years helped push the average price paid up 11% to £77. Two other European capitals saw more modest changes with Paris adding 7% to £64 and Dublin flat on £62.

Two other destinations thousands of miles apart recorded averages of £62 a night, with Naples on Florida’s Gulf Coast up 13% and Almancil in the Portuguese Algarve up 9%.

Where to stay for £30 or less a night in global destinations

There was a good choice of destinations where HomeAway UK customers paid £30 or less a night per person in 2019, with Spain, the first choice for many British families, offering excellent value, despite price increases.

There was a gap of £61 per person per night between the highest and lowest prices paid in the top 100 most popular destinations so British tourists renting their holiday home on HomeAway could have stayed twice as long on the Costa Blanca as they did in highest-priced Cannes and still have change left over to splurge on ice-creams and sunbeds. 

Both Orihuela and Torrevieja recorded the lowest average price paid of £25 per person per night, despite increases of 13% and 12% respectively. Elsewhere on the Costa Blanca, Orihuela Costa was just £2 higher on £27, Benidorm rose 12% to £29 and Alicante just made this category on £30 after a 3% increase. Further south in Murcia, Los Alcázares reached £27 while Murcia itself as well as Torre Paheco were both on £28. Castillo Caleta de Fuste on Fuerteventura had the lowest average in the Canaries of £28.

Turkey’s tourism had a good year in 2019 as the number of foreign visitors jumped more than 14% year-on-year between January and November 2019, reaching a total of just under 43 million. Fethiye on Turkey's south western Turquoise Coast retained its affordability on £26, despite an 11% increase. Dalyan also made this grouping on £30.

Florida’s Clermont, just west of the theme park capital Orlando, offered a lower-priced alternative to its more famous neighbour and was the only US entry on £29 per night and person.

Biggest falls in prices paid in 2019

HomeAway data shows that there were still several destinations where British holidaymakers found better value than in 2018, making that much-loved foreign getaway more affordable, particularly for families.

Falling foreign visitor numbers to the Canaries helped rental accommodation prices paid in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, tumble 12% to an even more affordable £32.

New York City was set to attract a record number of 67 million visitors in 2019 but the Brits were lucky enough to pay 11% less for their holiday homes on average over the year at £84. 

Other decreases were more modest with Benissa on the Costa Blanca down 9% to £37 and Albufeira, the most popular destination for HomeAway UK holidaymakers in 2019, down 3% to £33. Three destinations saw a 2% fall: the Italian Renaissance city of Lucca to £41, Alcudia in Mallorca on £51 and the Greek island of Corfu on £58.

Biggest rise in prices paid in 2019

It was a different story when it came to increases as prices paid by British holidaymakers rose in 89 of their top 100 international destinations in 2019. However, despite these increases, rental accommodation in three-quarters of their favourites still registered an average £50 per person per night or less.

A continuing tourism boom in Croatiahelped Split on the Dalmatian Coast record the highest average rise of 34% to a still affordable £52. Many other destinations around the world saw double-digit percentage growth with Madrid on £51 and Kissimmee on £36 both adding 24%, while Budapest and Florida’s Davenport were both up 20% to £37 and £31 respectively.

In France, Cannes rose 19% to £86, the highest price paid amongst the top 100 destinations, and the Alpine ski resort of Les Belleville was up 18% to £46. 

On the Portuguese Algarve, Portimão logged a 19% increase to £40, Costa Teguise in Lanzarote rose 16% to £31 and Cape Coral in Florida added 15% to £47.

Top overseas destinations for British HomeAway travellers

Many British holidaymakers in rental accommodation stayed close to home in 2019, according to HomeAway data, with eight of the top 10 international destinations in Europe and only two in the US. 

Great value prices of £40 per person per night or less helped seven destinations become some of the most popular choices. However, cost was not always the deciding factor when it came to where to stay as several higher-priced favourites maintained their levels of affection. These included two Spanish resorts, Pollensa in Mallorca in sixth on £58 and Marbella at number seven on £54.

Albufeira on the Portuguese Algarve, with its collection of 20 very different beaches, was the number one choice overall, helped by a 3% fall in its average price paid to £33, with Lagos further along the coast in eighth place on £42.

Other more competitively-priced Spanish family favourites occupied six slots in the top 10. The Canary Islands held onto two places, with Playa Blanca in Lanzarote in third place and Adeje in Tenerife in fifth, both on £39 and two on the Costa del Sol offered even better value: Nerja in ninth place on £34 and Malaga just in the top 10 on £37.

Visitor numbers to Florida were set for an all-time record in 2019 and this increased holiday home prices in some destinations. Kissimmee with its proximity to the Orlando theme parks earned second place, despite a 24% rise to a still-affordable £36, and Davenport to the south-east rose 20% to £31 in fourth.

The UK holidaymaker’s international Hot List

Destinations can blow hot and cold when it comes to their popularity amongst holidaymakers for a variety of reasons. Even perennial favourites can see a sudden burst of renewed interest and this does not automatically mean an immediate price hike. The 2019 Hot List, showing some of the international front-runners where interest has increased the most on HomeAway UK, has both new arrivals and long-term hotspots.

Portugal was expected to break its record of 24 million tourists in 2019 and Portimão saw the highest climb of 33 places, entering the top 100 at No 97, while Porto was up 20 places to No 67.

With the number of visitors to Turkey increasing in 2019, Fethiye on the Turquoise Coast rose 28 places to No 73 in the popularity ranking but remained a competitive £26 per person per night even after an 11% rise. Dalyan was another new entrant in the top 100 at No 94 after a rise of 16 places.

Spain was also expecting a record number of visitors, even though the total number of Brits visiting fell, and this pushed several family favourites up the chart with Castillo Caleta de Fuste up 27 to No 89, Las Palmas up 25 to No 27 helped by a fall in its average price to £32, with Orihuela Costa up 21 to No 56.

Across the Atlantic, Naples in the USA saw its average price paid add 13% to £62 but it still climbed 17 places up the popularity rankings to No 66, while Holetown in Barbados was up 16 to No 88.

Focus on the UK

What British domestic travellers paid in domestic destinations

Highest prices paid by domestic holidaymakers in the UK in 2019

UK domestic holidaymakers paid more in 87 of the top 100 domestic destinations in 2019 with three showing no change and ten falling. Many of the percentage rises were in double digits but more than half the top 100 still had very affordable averages of £40 or less per person per night.

A weekend city break, a family trip to the coast, a jaunt in the country or an expedition to explore a historic town? This was the choice of getaways in the top 10 destinations with the highest averages.

London had the highest price paid of £72 following an 8% increase, with Bath next some way behind on £57 after a 4% rise. Another city with Roman links and the same percentage increase was Chichester on £51.

Three destinations in the Cotswolds and its surroundings featured with Chipping Campden up 9% to £56, Cheltenham showing no percentage change on £51 and Cirencester adding 8% to £50.

Southwold in Suffolk had the highest price paid amongst the seaside locations, as its average rose 11% to £56 but other coastal spots included Brighton on £54, also up 11% and St Andrews on £52 after growth of 17%. Elsewhere in Scotland, Edinburgh’s 6% rise took it to £52.

UK domestic hot spots for HomeAway holidaymakers in 2019 

“Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside” was certainly the theme song behind the top 10 most popular domestic destinations for HomeAway UK holidaymakers in 2019. The list was dominated by familiar seaside family favourites, interspersed with a handful of larger cities and rural retreats. Any price increases in the top 10 were kept below 10%.

It is no surprise that London and Edinburgh took the top two spots, despite some relatively high prices, but then came some of the best of the UK’s holiday resorts, such as Whitby, St Ives and Newquay. Yorkshire’s Filey, with one of the best beaches in the country for families, was further down the table at No 8 and also had the lowest average price paid in the top 10 of £33. Swanage along the south coast with its award-winning, family-friendly beach propped up the top 10 at No 10.

York and Windermere broke the mould, claiming the fifth and seventh spots respectively.

Where domestic holidaymakers stayed for £35 or less per person per night in 2019

Seaside resorts again dominated the list of destinations where British holidaymakers tracked down some absolute bargains in 2019 and parted with £35 or less per person per night in 12 destinations.

Great Yarmouth was the lowest on a great value £23. In fact, Brits could have spent three days revelling in the delights of the Norfolk beaches for the same price as one night in London. There were three other Norfolk names in the list: Heacham on £31, Hunstanton on £32 and Sheringham on £35. 

In Cornwall, Bodmin was also under £30 at £29 and was the only inland name in this category, while Hayle recorded £34.

Wales was well represented with Barmouth on £31, while Caernarfon and Rhosneigr on the Isle of Anglesey both recorded £33 and Llandudno £34.

North Yorkshire was the only other county to make the grade with Filey on £33 and Staithes on £34.

Biggest percentage price rises paid by British HomeAway domestic holidaymakers in 2019  

Uncertainties over Brexit, some fabulous summer weather and the general popularity of the British seaside all contributed to some impressive price increases in many familiar names around the country in 2019. Prices paid rose in 87 of the top 100 domestic destinations with three showing no change and ten falling. Many of the percentage rises were in double digits but more than half of the top 100 still had very affordable averages of £40 or less per person per night.

Penrith in Cumbria recorded the highest increase of 29% but its new average remained good value on £39 and there was a similar picture in Anstruther in Scotland with a 28% rise to £38. There were two other destinations with rises of more than 20%: Yorkshire’s Scarborough up 23% to £38 and Paignton in Devon up 22% to £42.

Domestic tourism in Scotland rose 40% in the first eight months of the year, compared with three years ago and Scotland had two other highflyers in this list: St Andrews up 17% to £52 and Fort William, the capital of the Highlands, up 16% to £45.

The other highest price rises were in the south of England, as two other Devon family favourites were in the top 10: Sidmouth up 18% to £40 and Bideford up 17% to £41. Broadstairs in Kent climbed 18% to £44 and Cowes on the Isle of Wight also saw a rise of 17% to £44.

Biggest percentage falls paid by British HomeAway domestic holidaymakers in 2019  

Always on the lookout for a good deal, British holidaymakers enjoyed greater value in several popular destinations in 2019, according to HomeAway UK data.

Great Yarmouth in Norfolk had both the highest fall of 15% and the lowest average price paid of £23 per person per night. Hunstanton further around the coast also saw a drop of 7% to £32.

An 11% decrease took Kendal in the Lake District to £37 and all other decreases were more modest at 5% or less. These included Mevagissey in Cornwall down 5% to £38 and Glasgow slipping just 2% to £41.

UK domestic Hot List

For domestic holidaymakers, better summer weather and the uncertainty over Brexit encouraged a surge in interest in some of the UK’s most loved family holiday hotspots, with several locations seeing a steep rise up the popularity rankings in 2019. 

Amongst the seaside destinations in the top 10, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk’s top coastal town, rocketing 93 places up the chart, boosted by its ultra-low average of just £23 and was joined by Hunstanton, up 40 places to No 40, Heacham up 32 to No 98 and neighbouring Southwold in Suffolk, up 28 to No 59. 

With Inbound visitor numbers on the rise, Scotland had three entries in the top 10, with St Andrews shooting 62 places to No 66 and nearby Anstruther up 35 to No 74. Inverness, the gateway of the Highlands, climbed 26 to No 69.

Truro was the only Cornish entry in the top 10, rising 27 to No 77 and the Hotlist was completed by Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds, up 26 to No 68 and Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District up climb 25 places to No 41.

What inbound holidaymakers paid in UK destinations

Highest prices paid by inbound holidaymakers in the UK in 2019

Inbound visitor numbersto the UK were predicted to rise to 38.5 million in 2019, a gain of 2%, despite the uncertainties over Brexit. International holidaymakers paid more in 76 of the top 100 destinations, with prices stable in three and falling in 21. 

The destination with the highest price paid amongst the top 100 was London, rising 11% to £84 per person per night, the only average over £80.

St Andrews, the home of golf with many tourists drawn there for its beach and its royal connections, recorded the second highest figure of £77, although its average showed no percentage change. Another Scottish seaside town recorded a 40% rise which took North Berwick to £64.

Several others in the top 10 had averages over £70, including Richmond, down 2% to £73, and Windsor dropping 16% to £73, as its price paid returned to more familiar territory following the excitement of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018.

The Cotswolds have long been a big attraction for inbound visitors and, in 2019, they paid 7% more to stay in Chipping Campden on £66. 

Other major tourist towns also featured in the list with Oxford on £65, after a 4% fall, Bath up 9% to £59 and Wadebridge on the same level, seeing a 62% increase over its 2018 rate. 

British hot spots for inbound holidaymakers from the HomeAway network in 2019 

The top 10 most popular UK destinations for inbound holidaymakers from HomeAway in 2019 showed a mix of big cities mingling with tourist favourites.

London was in first place in terms of popularity and, at an average £84 per person per night, also the highest priced in the top 10, following an increase in its price paid of11%. 

There was a healthy scattering of Scottish destinations in the top 10 with Edinburgh on £63 in second place, Glasgow on £47 in third and Inverness in fourth on £49, with St Andrews the highest-priced of these on £77 in seventh.

English city break destinations were also popular with York on £50 at No 5 and Bath on £59 at No 6. Oxford won the battle of the two most famous university towns, coming in at No 9 on £65 following a 4% decrease, with Cambridge outside the top 10.

The outlier in the list was Chipping Camden, the small Cotswolds market town popular with tourists, at No 10 on £66.

Where inbound holidaymakers stayed in the UK for £35 or less per person per night in 2019

HomeAway UK data showed that visitors to the UK paid £35 or less per person per night in a range of destinations in England and Scotland bargains were certainly there for the taking. Bodmin was the lowest of these on £27, with Ashford on £31 and Croydon on £32. 

Perth and Kinross seemed particularly good value with three destinations in this category, including the county town Perth and the holiday favourite Pitlochry both on £33 and Blairgowrie, popular with golfers and anglers, on £34. Nairn, the ancient fishing port in the Highlands, was also in this category, up 1% to £35.

Bushmills, home of the world-famous Irish whiskey distillery, was Northern Ireland’s only entry on the same price paid of £35, a figure shared by Hastings in East Sussex and Dartmouth in Devon.

Biggest percentage price rises paid by HomeAway inbound holidaymakers in 2019  

Inbound visitor numbersto the UK were predicted to rise to 38.5 million in 2019, a gain of 2%, and HomeAway UK data showed that  foreign tourists paid more for their rental accommodation here in 76 of the top 100 destinations, with prices stable in three and falling in 21 . However, a third of all averages were below £40.

Tourism is at the heart of the Cornish economy and the market town of Wadebridge saw the highest rise of 62% to £59. Other English increases were further down the table with Hove up 24% to £51 and Poole up 22% to £54.

The domestic tourism boom in Scotland helped to push up prices for all visitors. The seaside town of North Berwick in Scotland saw a 40% increase to £64 and four other Scottish destinations appeared in the top 10 with increases between 20%-35%.

The Open golf championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in July was the fastest selling event in the competition’s history, and attracted a record 237,000 spectators.. This helped push the town’s average up 37% to £56. 

Biggest percentage price falls paid by HomeAway inbound holidaymakers in 2019  

The Royal Wedding in Windsor in May 2018 certainly contributed to the rise in accommodation prices paid in the town in that year and 2019 saw a return to more usual levels with a 16% drop to £73 per person a night.

Elsewhere, four destinations also had double-digit falls, with Carbis Bay in Cornwall and Kingsbridge in Devon the highest of these, both down 13% to £46 and £39 respectively. Cheltenham fell 12% to £50 and Blairgowrie was the only Scottish name on the list after an 11% decrease taking it to a very reasonable £34. 

Other changes were less than 10%, including Bristol down 8% to £47 and Port Isaac in Cornwall losing 7% to reach £54. 

British inbound Hot List

Looking at the UK destinations in the top 100 that generated the biggest increase in popularity in 2019 for inbound visitors, it was the Masters golf championship held at Portrush in Northern Ireland that generated the biggest draw, leading to a charge for the town of 58 places up the popularity rankings into the top 50 at No 49. Portstewart benefitted from its proximity to Portrush and offered a better value alternative. It climbed 27 places into the top 100 at No 82.

Kingsbridge, the popular tourist hub in Devon was up 43 places to No 69 while the bigger cities on the south coast were not left out of the list as Hove climbed 38 to No 75, Southampton was up 32 to No 65 and Dover rose 30 to No 77.

Two popular outdoor capitals of Keswick in the Lake District and Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds were up 31 to No 36 and 27 to No 41 respectively.

Big spenders - Who spent what where

Looking at which nationalities had the deepest pockets when it comes to spending on rental accommodation offered through HomeAway to stay in the UK, it is generally those that have travelled the furthest that pay the most. This is certainly reflected in the HomeAway data, with the USA at the top of the list, some way in front on £67 per person per night, followed by Canada, Australia and New Zealand all between £55 and £50. The highest paying Europeans were the Norwegians on £44, despite a 3% fall.

Of the 13 nations included in the report, 11 paid more to stay in the UK in 2019 – great news for British holiday home-owners. The Brits themselves paid 6% more on an average £41 for a domestic stay. The biggest increase of 12% was recorded by New Zealand visitors.

There was a large range of £32 between the top and bottom spenders in the price table with some of our closest European neighbours parting with the least. The Dutch paid £35 per person per night, followed by the Germans on £37 and the French on £39.

The Earn Potential – what renting out a holiday home could earn in your region  

Demand for holiday rental properties in the UK is remaining high, which means property owners are in an ideal position to maximise their returns through short-term rentals, even if it is just over the period that the house is empty while they are away. There are many factors that can influence how much a property can earn, such as destination, size, location, facilities etc. but the HomeAway data uncovers the average earnings of properties in the UK during 2019, which provides an indication of what property owners might expect in 2020.

Looking at the top 10 highest averages earned, properties in South Gloucestershire takes in parts of Bristol and the Cotswolds and recorded the highest nightly figure of £267 per property a night while other areas in the south of England were also in the top 10, including Greater London on £206 a night. Edinburgh was the only Scottish entry in the top 10 of £170 a night.

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