Holiday-rental occupancy rates return to pre-pandemic levels

The holiday-rental occupancy rate based on bookings for August is 89%, according to a study by industry portal Rentalia.

Bookings are 12% higher than the same month last year (occupancy 77%), when lockdown had ended, but many travel restrictions were still in place, which led to a big increase in locals renting holiday-homes in Spain rather than going abroad. But it also meant a big decrease in holiday-rental clients visiting Spain from abroad.

Occupancy rates this year are even higher than in 2019, before the pandemic, when 89% of holiday rentals listed at Rentalia were already booked at this stage. Rentalia is a holiday-lettings platform owned by Idealista, the biggest property portal in Spain.

According to Rentalia, the high level of occupancy rates this year is still being driven by local demand. “For the second summer running the sector has managed to attract local tourists, which is compensating for the lack of foreign tourists kept away by travel restrictions in many coastal destinations,” says Almudena Ucha, a director of Rentalia.

Another factor driving the high occupancy rates might be the reduced number of hotel beds avaialbe, as the crisis has hammered the hotel industry, and the cheaper cost of holiday-rental accomodation compared to hotels, as the econoimc crisis makes holiday-makers more price sensitive.

Tourist lettings in the Balearics are enjoying a spectacular season, with both Menorca and Mallorca sold out this August, all according to Rentalia. Occupany rates on both islands are above 97%, followed by Alicante / Costa Blanca (94%), the Almeria coast (94%), and Cadiz / Costa de la Luz (93%).

Occupancy levels in the Canaries are much lower, with 53% in Grand Canaries, 68% in Tenerife, and 74% in Lanzarote. High season in the Canaries comes in the European winter, so these figures are not alarming, but the fact that the Canaries are mainly reached by air also might explain the lower rates. Given the ongoing travel restrictions, local tourists are favouring destinations that are easy to reach by car, and in the case of the Balearics, by boat.

Holiday rental occupancy rates: August 2021 (left column) vs 2020 (right column). Source: Rentalia

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