‘MET’ takes on the ‘MED’ as travellers look for better deals

HomeAway UK’s Q2 report reveals the rise of the MET, Malta, Brazil, Turkey & Montenegro, plus owners’ fears about changes to the FHL tax

Report highlights

Booking enquiries reveal rising demand for Morocco, Egypt and Turkey (or the ‘MET’)
Malta emerges as a rising star, topping the charts for breaks in June, July, August and October
Strong growth in supply and demand reveals Brazil, Montenegro and Turkey as investor hotspots
Majority of property owners still unclear about impact of proposed changes to the FHL tax

Supporting recent research from travel operators, data from HomeAway UK, which operates the two market leading holiday rentals sites www.HomeAway.co.uk and www.OwnersDirect.co.uk, also shows a considerable boost in the number of booking enquiries to Morocco, Egypt and Turkey this year. The combined increase in enquiries to these countries was 193% year on year, compared to 51% in the Cote d'Azur, Costa del Sol and Algarve.

This rise in popularity of destinations outside the traditional ‘MED’ favourites was also supported by a traveller survey. When asked how the economy would affect their travel plans this summer, 22% of travellers visiting HomeAway UK sites said they would look for a cheaper destination, but only 6.4% said this would mean choosing a ‘no-fly’ location.

For further details, read the full report pages 2 & 3

Malta: the new rising star

New flight routes and a ramped up advertising campaign, combined with affordable rates for holiday rentals meant Malta shone out as a rising star during the second quarter of 2010. With a huge 108% increase in booking enquiries compared to the same period in 2009, the island featured among the top 10 destinations enquired about on HomeAway.co.uk for holidays in June, July, August and October.

Property owners advertising on the site also reported high occupancy, in spite of the recession. Christiane Morris, owner of a three-bedroom apartment (Property 439983) commented: “We’ve been booked virtually all summer and currently have three enquiries in the pipeline for later this month, early November and a three month long let later in the year”. Rita Bourne, owner of a one-bedroom apartment (Property 91540), also reported continued strong performance. She said, “For the past two years I’ve had 95% occupancy, which is extremely surprising since it coincided with the downturn of the economy.”

For further details, read the full report page 5

Brazil, Montenegro & Turkey: investor hotspots

Over the past few years, there has been growing interest in the emerging property markets in Brazil, Montenegro and Turkey. This trend has been reflected on HomeAway.co.uk as these countries were among the site’s top 10 emerging markets in terms of growth in supply and demand in Q2 2010.

Thanks to low property prices, strong economic growth and renewed traveller interest, they experienced a combined increase of 116% in the number of holiday rental listings and 161% in booking enquiries on HomeAway.co.uk. With the next World Cup and Olympics in Brazil, a raft of new developments in Montenegro, and Istanbul’s raised profile as a capital of culture in 2010, these three markets present a exciting opportunity for existing owners and new investors alike.

For further details, read the full report page 6

Changes to the FHL tax raise questions among owners

As the deadline for consultation on the proposed change to Furnished Holiday Lettings tax draws near, over half of holiday home owners on www.HomeAway.co.uk and www.OwnersDirect.co.uk are still not sure how, or if the changes will affect them. The best source of information is the HM Revenue & Customs site.

To cover the potential removal of loss relief, 56% of holiday home owners said they would have to increase their rental rates if the proposals were accepted, while 17% said they would have to stop renting their property. 

However there is some good news. One of the main proposals is to increase the minimum period for which a property is let to 15 weeks instead of 10 per year, but while many owners may fear this is hard to achieve, data from HomeAway UK shows that on average the majority of owners do manage this, and a third achieve 20 weeks or more.

For further details, read the full report pages 7 & 8



About HomeAway UK

HomeAway UK operates the two market-leading websites HomeAway Holiday-Rentals (www.HomeAway.co.uk) and Owners Direct (www.OwnersDirect.co.uk), founded respectively in 1996 and 1997. HomeAway UK offers British travellers the largest selection of properties available to rent online, along with innovative search features and unrivalled levels of trust and safety for those booking direct. HomeAway.co.uk offers over 220,000 independent guest reviews and OwnersDirect.co.uk offers owner profiles for increased peace of mind.

About HomeAway, Inc.

HomeAway is the world leader of the online holiday rentals market, representing over 540,000 property listings across more than 120 countries.  The company has contributed significantly to the popularity of the holiday rentals industry, making it easier than ever for both owners to advertise and profit from their second homes and for millions of travellers to find the perfect holiday rental.  HomeAway operates sites in 11 European countries and the market-leading sites in the USA and Brazil.