Homelike sees increasing demand for mid-term stays

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 30 April 2021


UK: Rental platform HomeLike has reported increased demand for mid-term property rental as travel restrictions are lifted and temporary accommodation is sought for relocation and work purposes.

British guests make up the largest share of all bookings (60 per cent) on Homelike, where users can book accommodation for more than 30-days, followed by the USA (20 per cent), and Germany (eight per cent).

HomeLike has seen UK demand for mid-term rental vary compared to European counterparts, where UK bookings have been bolstered by demand for temporary accommodation as more people relocate and move house to be closer to relatives bringing a more even split between work (39 per cent) and alternative (35 per cent) commitments. However 61 per cent of European sales are driven by those travelling for work purposes.

While business travel continued throughout 2020, cross-border demand dropped drastically from a peak of 69 per cent in January 2020, to as low as 29 per cent in May 2020. However, cross-border demand has grown exponentially in the last quarter with current April 2021 levels at 55 per cent of all bookings, marking a return of the overseas traveller.

The pandemic has driven digital adoption in mid-term property rentals which has experienced a six-fold increase compared to pre-pandemic booking levels. More than half (52 per cent) of all bookings for stays of over 30 days are now booked instantly. Homelike says the new demand for instantly bookable accommodation "not only reflects a change in consumer behaviour with temporary home searchers being more comfortable making bigger ticket transactions online, but a significant shift towards digitisation in the mid-term accommodation rental space".

Cherry Wang, country manager UK & Ireland, said: “It’s interesting to see how the UK market differs from our other regions in terms of bookings. It’s much more balanced across all areas, rather than being solely driven by business travellers. I believe this will be beneficial to our long term growth as the business is not relying on one form of customer.”

“In 2020 in the UK, length of stay actually grew by five per cent to 82 days, vs 2019. This was perhaps driven by the need for people to stay in one place as much as possible, so once our clients had found accommodation, whether for work or relocation, they stayed put for safety and Covid reasons. As we move into 2021, this dropped right back by 10 per cent to lower than pre-pandemic. In turn, average monthly rent has also fallen by seven per cent vs 2020, to £2,500. I think we need to be mindful of this going forward and ensure that our properties remain attractive and affordable to future customers. Budgets are clearly going to be tight as schemes like furlough and government grants wind down and this will ultimately affect how our clients behave," added Wang.

HomeLike lists more than 75,000 properties across 400 cities in nine European countries on its platform.


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