Cumbria is one of the best places in the UK to own a holiday let, according to a new report from Sykes Holiday Cottages. 

With annual incomes averaging £28,200, versus a UK average of £24,500, the region is the second most profitable area in the country, second only to the Cotswolds (£28,500). 

The data also showed that demand for holiday homes in Cumbria has "never been higher".

Despite this, holiday homes have continuously proven controversial among residents. Many people believe the lets outprice locals.

The holiday letting agency also says bookings to its properties in the region were up 8% year-on-year in 2023.

The Holiday Letting Outlook Report 2024 analyses Sykes Holiday Cottages’ revenue data and booking figures to drill into the income potential of holiday letting in the UK.

This is alongside a survey of holidaylet owners to review their opinions on recent regulatory and tax changes and expert-led commentary on the sector's future.  

According to a poll of 500 UK holiday homeowners commissioned for the report, 65% are worried about the recent changes introduced to the sector, with increased taxes causing the most concern. 

However, despite this, the majority (86%) of holiday let owners have not ever considered exiting the market, with half of owners even contemplating buying another holiday let in the future regardless of the changes.  

Sykes’ research also found that 81% of holiday let owners say residents local to their holiday lets welcome tourism and somewhat rely on it, with nearly all (96%) stating that it is unlikely a local person would even purchase their let if they did ever sell it.  

Holiday let owners also have reason to remain optimistic as the demand for staycations is still growing, with bookings for Sykes’ holiday lets over the recent Easter school holidays up 11% compared with last year. 

Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Staycations have been growing in popularity over the past decade and right now demand for our UK holiday cottages in Cumbria is higher than ever, with the average annual income of a holiday let owner up as a result. 

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“But of course, the past 12 months have been slightly different for the industry, and our latest report therefore also reflects how holiday let owners are feeling in light of the recent changes.

"Despite changes, it is clear that holiday letting remains a profitable and rewarding long-term business model, with the nation’s love of holidaying at home and exploring our incredible country going nowhere.  

“At Sykes, we’re passionate about holiday letting and the benefits it brings to local economies across the country by driving spending, providing direct employment, and supporting independent businesses.

"We will continue to guide owners through their short-term let journeys, helping them to run successful holiday homes, no matter what.”