Self-catering booking trends through UK lockdown to 26 May 2020

The data for this analysis are from bookings made in SuperControl Online Booking & Management System from 01/01/2019 to 26/05/2020. The 12,837 UK properties 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 505,038 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. Over the last two weeks there has been a marked increase in bookings relative to pre-lockdown levels.


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 in Northern Ireland fell the furthest. The higher weekly variability seen for Northern Ireland is due to the lower number of properties in the dataset for this country. Promisingly, the last to weeks have had a higher number of bookings than the previous week in each country, and the increase has been most pronounced in England and Wales.

Urban rural split

The weekly year to date booking trends are shown below split by country and urban rural location. For each country except Northern Ireland where fewer data points mean higher variability, urban and rural trends have been broadly similar. In England the rural weekly bookings fell slightly more slowly than the urban bookings leading up to lockdown, and were slightly quicker to pick up in the last few weeks.

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 only region with fewer bookings last week than the previous week was Yorkshire and The Humber, however this region in the previous week did have the strongest regional growth from the lockdown baseline.

Master Cancel

The plot below shows the weekly year to date booking trend split by whether the property is currently covered by Master Cancel cancellation terms. Properties have Master Cancel status here if the owner was live with Master Cancel prior to 17/04/2020. The trend shows that properties now covered by Master Cancel initially fell further but are now recovering quicker. This does not imply causality, since there are many factors which may be confounding the difference here, including marketing approach and pricing.


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. Hence the stronger the colour in each tile, the more bookings there were in that booking week for that arrival week. Looking at booking week beginning May 11th, the plot shows that the booking activity was been predominantly for arrivals between July and October 2020, but there was also an increase in bookings for arrival between June and October 2021.In the past week (booking week beginning May 18th), this trend has continued, with the balance shifting slightly in favour of 2020 arrivals rather than 2021.

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