The holiday rental market, especially along the coast, is expected to boom as we approach the festive season, but Seeff’s agents note that bookings are often last minute due to the uncertainty around the pandemic lockdowns.
Although holiday makers tend to leave bookings a bit late, there is no shortage of eagerness to get away for a holiday. Many are also booking in any event as they will want to get out of the house and to a nice coastal holiday house or apartment before the next wave hits.
While some international travel will still be affected due to international travel restrictions, Seeff’s agents expect South Africans to flock to holiday destinations this summer.
Cape Town will be a hot spot. The attraction is endless and there is no doubt that those who can travel, will head to the Cape and will find good value too.
The beaches, lifestyle and tourist attractions remain a key differentiator for the Cape coastal areas. Marina Enslin, an agent with Seeff Paternoster for example, says that weekends are basically fully booked in the village as people look to escape the city.
Hermanus is already about 85% booked out for December and January. This year has been a surprise with bookings in Hermanus tripling, some homes have even quadrupled in booking conversions, she adds.
Guests have more downtime with extended school holidays and lockdown periods and guests have been eager for mini breakaways. 90% of bookings are local South Africans with only about 10% international, mostly from Europe and a few from the USA.
Prices have remained fairly flat with a slight decrease in some rates. Rates are down by about 20% from what they should have been if there was no pandemic, hence the rate for a three-bedroomed house is around R2 500/night and for a luxury 6-8 bedroomed villa about R12 500/night max.
Weekend bookings also remain popular. Month-to-month rentals are also booming in Hermanus due to the pandemic as people look to escape the confines of their city homes. Rentals range from R15 000/month for a smaller home to as much as R35 000 for bigger homes. Bookings are coming from Joburg, Pretoria and even KZN, often at short notice as people want to quickly get away before the restrictions.
There are loads of enquiries, but booking confirmations are slow. They expect it will pick up drastically closer to December as people will want to get away, especially if there is a fourth wave then.
The South Coast expects bookings to be better this December compared to last year because people want to get out of their houses and cities and go on holiday. The pandemic has had a major dampening effect on people, and they are looking to get out, not just South Africans but foreigners too, although we expect foreign bookings to be lower due to international border closures.