Known for its elegant Georgian architecture and cultural attractions, the small city of Bath, UK, attracts over six million visitors a year. Bath is recognized globally for its Roman Baths – one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world – and tourists spend nearly half a billion pounds here each year, making it an appealing STR investment destination.
Just a stone's throw away (a 30 minute drive, to be exact) is the vibrant city of Bristol, known for its street art, prestigious university, and food and music scene. The eighth most visited town or city in the UK, Bristol has its own airport and is a popular market for business travel. The city also welcomes its fair share of visitors – 30,000 people visit the city just for University open days alone.
Wondering how the short term rental market is currently performing in both locations? Here’s an overview of what’s going on:
According to scraped market data as of 16 October, short term rentals in Bath haven’t seen much year-on-year change in regards to revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rates (ADR), occupancy, and booking windows.
ADR has only dropped 1% year-on-year, settling at £198 per night. When it comes to RevPAR, property managers are currently making £67 per available rental (a 4% drop from the same time last year) and occupancy levels remain similar year-on-year at 34% (-4%). Booking windows have softened from 69 days to 66 days.
Considering the world has been battling high inflation and living costs over the past year, Bath has remained relatively resilient given its dependence on large volumes of international tourists who may be more susceptible to a spending squeeze. To put that in context, we recently reported how, over the months of June, July and August, the whole of the UK saw declines in short term rental RevPAR of 6% in real terms, a decline in occupancy of 2.4% and a drop in ADR of 3.6%, once adjusted for inflation.
Over in Bristol, the data tells a different story. Despite being only 15 minutes apart by train, this much larger destination has seen a more serious drop in RevPAR, falling back 9% to £36 (compared to £39 last year), and property managers have seen a 7% drop ADR (which currently sits at £122 per night). While property managers are charging less per night, demand to stay in the city appears to have held up well, with occupancy declining just 2%. Booking windows reflect the change in demand that has affected nightly rates, falling from 53 to 48 days. This means they are much shorter than in Bath, which probably benefits from a higher proportion of tourism vs business travelers who are prone to booking later.
Tips For Property Managers In These Areas
- Property managers will have to keep a close eye on occupancy in these regions to make sure they are pitching rentals at the right price point
- However Bath, in particular, attracts large volumes of tourists, so the risk of discounting ADRs unnecessarily by reacting too quickly is higher than usual
Interested in UK short term rental investment destinations? Why not check out our report on London before arranging a personalized introduction to the Key Data Dashboard.