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 holidaymakers tend to leave bookings a bit late, there is no shortage of eagerness to get away for a holiday, the group said. “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.
Ross Levin, licensee for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl said 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, said that weekends are basically fully booked in the village as people look to escape the city.
Ciska de Vries, short-let rental agent for Seeff Hermanus said they are 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 added.
She said further that 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 US.
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, the property group said. 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, Seeff’s experts said.
Joleen Giraudeau, manager for Seeff South Coast said they have had 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. Prices on the South and Mid-South Coast have remained flat. Current rates are around R1,300 to R2,850/night.
Andreas Wassenaar, licensee for Seeff Zimbali said holiday booking habits have had to adjust due to the unpredictability of the pandemic and concerns over a fourth wave towards December, meaning that bookings are slower than expected.
“Whereas Zimbali accommodation for December would usually already be booked out by September, this is no longer the case. Bookings are now delayed and confirmed closer to the actual occupation date. Bookings are also for shorter periods and rates can be expected to be a little lower overall, depending on the property.”
Rental rates have remained largely flat and discounted rates apply for longer stays. Homes that rented out for R10,000/night previously will now rent at R8,000/night and homes which rented at R5,000/night can be expected to rent at R4,000/night during peak periods. Outside of peak periods, demand drops off once rates exceed R2,500/night.
Zimbali remains the primary choice destination along the North Coast and achieves the highest daily rates by a significant margin, said Seeff. The refurbished Zimbali Hotel is expected to be open by December this year and the owners and management are expecting strong demand from Gauteng over this period.