Self-catering booking trends 2020 to 7 August

The data for this analysis are from bookings made in SuperControl Online Booking & Management System from 01/01/2019 to 07/08/2020. The 13,431 properties in the UK and Ireland included in the analysis were live in SuperControl at least a year prior to the start of this period and were still live at the end of the period. The 619,897 bookings excluded any bookings made by the owner or zero value bookings. Values have been normalised where appropriate by dividing by the maximum value in the relevant period and group. Any interpretation relates to the properties within the data set and does not attempt to extrapolate to wider market trends.

Year on year

The plot below shows the year on year daily booking trends. Bookings were slightly down in 2020 relative to 2019 from the beginning of the year, but started to diverge significantly in mid-March. From early May there was a steady increase in bookings relative to lockdown levels. By mid-June the booking rate was higher than the same weeks in 2019, and from the 22nd June for the rest of the month daily bookings rates were up to twice the level as the same time last year. Throughout July booking rates maintained levels well above 2019, but the latest daily figures indicate that booking rates may be decreasing.

Country

The plot below shows the weekly booking trend for 2020 by country. While each country has followed a similar trajectory, the data show that booking numbers rose to the June spike first in Ireland, followed by Northern Ireland then England, Wales and Scotland. The relative difference in booking volume between the peak week in January and the recent high was largest in Ireland and smallest in Wales; with Ireland having twice as many bookings in the highest booking volume week for the year to date (i.e. 100% higher, seen in early June) and Wales having a peak week in early July only 20% above the peak week in January. However, the Welsh high weekly booking levels did maintain at a similarly high level to the peak for longer than in Ireland.

The plot below shows that the cumulative 2020 year to date bookings have not caught up with 2019 yet in any of the countries in the data set despite the higher recent booking rates, but that England is closest to doing so.

Urban rural split

The weekly year to date booking trends are shown below split by country and urban rural location. In Northern Ireland and Wales, the post-lockdown peak booking week was realised later in urban locations than rural, whereas for England and Scotland they were in the same week.

England by region

The plot below shows the year to date weekly booking trend for England by region. London saw the earliest and sharpest decline in bookings, and ultimately has fallen the furthest, with the North East also showing a relatively bigger drop to lockdown levels than other regions. The South East region has maintained its post-lockdown high booking volumes for longer than other regions, but this does not show the relative size of the peak to other regions. Relating the spike to the highest booking week in January indicates that the post-lockdown peak week in the South East was only very slightly lower than other regions relative to their respective peak January weeks (as seen by the South East January peak week having a slightly higher value than the other regions, except London whose year to date peak week was in January).

Arrivals

The heat map below shows the period from the beginning of lock down through to last week from left to right, and the corresponding arrival dates for bookings made in these weeks from top to bottom. The stronger the colour in each tile, the more bookings there were in that booking week for that arrival week. The last week shows a slight increase in bookings made for arrival in July 2021.

Length of stay

The weekly mean booked length of stay has been higher in each country since the week before lockdown began. Hence when booking levels declined and were at their lockdown low, the few bookings that were taken were on average longer bookings.

Value

The weekly mean for the day rate value of bookings taken has generally been higher since lockdown in a year on year comparison for England, Scotland and Wales. There was a temporary decrease in the week mean day rate in Ireland starting two weeks prior to lockdown and lasting for 6 weeks.

Distance

The plots below show the average distance between guest and property post code for bookings made that week. The clearest signal here is a slight and temporary increase in the average travelling distance for bookings made for Scottish properties beginning the week before lockdown. These data are only for UK and Ireland guests and properties- so do not reflect changes in overseas travel patterns.