The homes being placed on Airbnb for more than £1,000 a NIGHT
- Credit: Archant library
Owners of properties in Norfolk are cashing in on the staycation boom - letting them for up to and above £1,000-a-night on Airbnb.
A large house in Ringland, Norwich, and one in Mundesley is up for rent on Airbnb at around £1,300 a night.
Similar properties only fetch this for an entire month on a shorthold buy-to-let tenancy.
One Norwich investor said he would never go back to the buy-to-let model. He now rents out two properties; in Cringleford and Sprowston, on Airbnb, earning more money in a week than in a month when he rented them to tenants for a year.
And despite there being added costs and management with holiday lets, he says the lucrative income far outweighs the meagre returns on buy- to-lets.
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Norfolk still has a relatively high number of buy to lets available - more than 880 on Rightmove - because of the city's vast amount of apartment developments. Long-term rentals range from £295 a month for a house share in the Golden Triangle, Norwich, to £4,000 a month for a nine-bedroom country house in Shipdham, near Dereham.
Fewer Airbnbs are currently available in the county, but the trend to rent for holidays over buy to let is growing.
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The number of properties purchased using a buy-to-let mortgage was 45pc lower in 2020 than in 2015, and the number of homes in the private rented sector has fallen since 2016, according to the latest Zoopla report.
With increasing government regulation squeezing the returns on buy to lets compared with the tax benefits of doing an Airbnb, some agents fear it may result in a shortage of homes for those who need to rent long term - as well as drive up prices.
Jan Hytch, chairwoman of the NDAEA, Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents, and a partner at Arnolds Keys agency, said: "Tourism plays an important part in the economy of Norfolk and sustains many jobs...as ever, it’s a question of balance.
"As a county we depend on holidaymakers spending money in our economy, but the people who live here (and work in that economy) also need homes. There is no problem in both residential letting and holiday lettings properties existing side by side; it is only when the balance is disturbed that there is a problem."
Jamie Minors, managing director of Minors & Brady, with offices across Norfolk and Waveney, said: "There is strong demand for those looking to purchase for Airbnb rentals, and a surge in people hoping to ‘rent to rent’, either through a company let or sub-let basis.
"On paper, these are lucrative at a quick glance, however they are more risky, with more damage to furnishings and far more maintenance. As a result of this demand, there are fewer properties to let on a longer term basis, which has driven rental prices even higher in Norfolk.
The most expensive properties in Norfolk and Waveney on Airbnb:
Worlingham Hall, near Beccles: £2,235 a night but you get the whole house; a 15-bedroom mansion with eight bathrooms set in more than 100 acres. Outside there is a large swimming pool, a tennis court, orangery and two lakes.
The Old School, Ringland; £1,334 a night. This Gothic property has eight bedrooms and five bathrooms. Outside is a heated pool and inside, vaulted receptions, a kitchen/breakfast with a warming Aga, snug/tv room and a grand dining room.
Wolterton Hall; rent the entire East Wing for £1,004 a night. This renovated property in a mansion has eight bedrooms and five bathrooms. It boasts elegant rooms with crystal chandeliers and marble bathrooms.
Meadow House Mundesley; £1,308 a night for seven bedrooms and two bathrooms. The house has sea views, beach access, a hot tub, private garden and off street parking.
'I'll never go back to the buy to let model'
Euan Craigie, a property investor, who used to live in Dubai, but came back to Norwich, said he wouldn't consider the single buy to let model anymore.
He has eight student lets which he says is guaranteed income and two Airbnbs, one three bedroom property in Cringleford, and the other, a four bedroom house in Sprowston.
"For the Cringleford one I charge £180 a night and for Sprowston, £125 a night. Before I was letting them for £950 a month - so I'm getting so much more money for not even letting them all year round.
"There is a lot more management involved in Airbnbs such as cleaning which I charge to the occupant for around £40-£50 but there are tax advantages too. Doing a single buy to let is so expensive but for very small returns. I do see there will be a shortage of buy to lets as a result and I do know of people having to rent Airbnbs because they can't find anything else."