Villa rental demand increasing in less traditional holiday areas

02 March 2015

Knight Frank’s villa rental division, while operating predominantly on the Atlantic Seaboard areas of Cape Town, reports that there is increasing interest in homes in other areas which have not been seen as traditional holiday destinations, such as Constantia and Bishopscourt, because holidaymakers do look for different holiday experiences in Cape Town. 

Apart from the villas that are bought for investment properties and are furnished and set up for short term rentals, There is, too, a growing trend towards local residents letting out their homes for the three to four weeks that they will be away on their annual holidays, thereby financing their own holiday, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA.

“We have had a phenomenal season,” said Steward, “and holiday rentals are often booked a year in advance.  Some accommodation on the Atlantic Seaboard has fetched as much as R40 000 per day, and has been fully booked for the whole holiday season.”

Renting a villa or self-catering holiday unit has become more popular in recent times because of the rising costs of hotel accommodation and the convenience of living in a “home away from home”, says Janine Sullivan, manager of the Knight Frank villa rentals division.  

There, are a few things to bear in mind if considering letting a home for a short term let, and planning well in advance is of utmost importance, said Sullivan.

The home should ideally be listed with an agency at least six months before the owner is due to go away, which gives the agency enough time to list and market the rental properly as well as the owner enough time to de-clutter and de-personalise the house.  Owners must have specific dates in mind that their home will be made available, as bookings cannot be made without firm dates. 

Holiday-goers, while wanting to stay in a home, will not want all the owner’s personal items in the unit, and it’s best to sort through items that can be put into storage well ahead of time and not leave this to the last minute, she said.

Importantly, too, any items of value in the home, e.g. artwork, expensive rugs, crystal ware or the like, should be put into storage if they are to be kept safe as there are always chances that accidents will happen, she advised. 

Most people who rent holiday accommodation would need to know that a housekeeper is available to clean the home daily and an internet connection, preferably Wi-Fi, must be available.  Various aspects of day to day living in the home needs to be taken care of such as swimming pool maintenance, electricity top-ups, and all the appliances and fittings such as automated gates or garage doors must be fully functional. 

The garage must be available and clear of clutter so that the guest can park his car inside and experience has shown that parking for guests is very important, said Sullivan. 

Lastly, she said, the homeowner should be realistic on the pricing of the rental – rely on the rental agent to guide the pricing of the unit as they have knowledge of what holidaymakers will pay for certain accommodation and the areas in which they work.