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Hello and Happy New Year.

 

My name is Tyler and I live in York with my wife. We absolutely love York and we are interested in buying a holiday letting property here. In addition, we have recently set up a holiday let management company with the main goal of managing people's properties on Airbnb and similar. It's early days but my goal is to grow steadily over 2017 and to buy our first (but hopefully not last!) holiday let property. 

 

I'd be interested in speaking to people who already own holiday properties in York about their experiences with holiday let mortgages, occupancy figures, rates etc. to help me plan. Of course, anyone looking for holiday letting property management service please contact me as well. I'm happy to buy you a coffee for your time! 

 

Thanks for your time.

Tyler

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Tyler,

 

I'm not in York but have a spare room and entire flat I've let on Airbnb in Edinburgh for nearly 3 years. I found it hard to find much information on holiday lets myself so hopefully some of my experience will help you :) 

 

York and Edinburgh I'd put in a similar grouping, university and tourist cities. Edinburgh has some peak times, August for festival, New Year, Marathon and 6 Nations but I'm sure York has events that create great demand also.

 

My entire flat I let out gets 90% occupancy and that's on a 2 night minimum stay.  I have a realistically high 'cleaning fee' so that I don't lose out on short stays and the flat becomes more affordable for long stays / multiple guests as that makes life easier for me.  It's important to price the busy times correctly as that's when you'll make most of your money.  I've kicked myself before for a pricing error where a peak stay went at a normal rate. Currently I manage whilst having a full time job. I'd love another but realisticly will not be possible with the job unless I somehow sort someone to meet guests and / or entry with key safe but at the moment I'm not there yet.

 

I've found Airbnb a great system and the guests that stay are like a different community, generally treating my place with care and respect as if it were their own home.  Experience I've had with Booking.com differs.  Maybe as Airbnb is set up more as a 'sharing economy' type of business and also, very importantly, you get to review your guest as well as them reviewing you.  You can also set what kind of validation you want your guests to have and vet before agreeing to host them.  I don't, I take anyone and 450 guests later have only a handful of very minor issues to note.

 

Important points to consider for a holiday let:

  1. You will need a specific holiday let mortgage, mine is with Leeds, max LTV 70% and reduced based on AST rental value stress testing but a competitive rate when compared to BTL;
  2. You'll need specific holiday let insurance;
  3. Check deeds as to whether there are any restrictions to short term lets if part of a complex / building;
  4. Tax treatment is different to AST's, but this will be more beneficial, check with accountant as to how to plan this;
  5. Set up costs are high, fully furnishing down to corkscrews etc. Yields are high but likely to make a tax loss first year;
  6. There is a lot of communication required, organising cleaning and also meeting guests. Generally I find I have to be available 365 days a year although now Airbnb let you set up co-hosts, so that someone can manage your account on your behalf.

 

Overall I've found Airbnb a fantastic resource, yes it's more work (all short lets are), but the rewards are great.  The website and app are pretty good, set up some systems and pre-prepared directions / responses and you could be really successful!

 

If you need any more info, I'm happy to expand on any of the above.

 

As for the free coffee, happy to get that in Betty's tea-room whenever suits ;)

 

All the best,

 

Ollie

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Hi Ollie

 

Thanks so much for your message. I think you are right about York being similar to Edinburgh. 90% occupancy is wonderful, especially on 2 night minimum stay. I manage a few properties for people in York so fully appreciate the work that is involved, and the rewards as well. 

 

I appreciate your tips on on holiday letting. I'd love to hear more about your mortgage experience with Leeds. Was it similar to a regular mortgage, more intense, less? I've been speaking to Cumberland Building Society as they have less stringent requirements to Leeds (ie no income requirement), although they won't consider any properties worth less than £150k. This is a shame as there was a new studio flat in a good location in York, fully furnished and at a good spec but was only going for £139k with holiday let permission so had to let it go. C'est la vie.

 

If you're ever in York I'm happy to take you to a proper coffee shop and avoid the queue for Betty's!

 

Cheers

Tyler

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Tyler,

 

My experience with Leeds was pretty straight forward, all the usual hoops to jump through but nothing extraordinary. I was surprised at how competitive the rates were, I went for 70% LTV, higher interest and lower fee.

 

So the 70% LTV is a bit lower than I was hoping but not massively worse than the 75% I was expecting.  Surveyor valued at exactly what I estimated -  £200k (was quite bold) which gave me a nice capital uplift BUT although I had tenants in on an AST at £1,050 pcm furnished, surveyor said rental value was £800 pcm which curtailed my LTV calc due to stress testing and limited at 66.5% LTV.  I queried this but I would have had to provide 3 instances of similar properties in the area having actually let at greater than £850 pcm in recent times to achieve 70% LTV which would mean actually asking a local letting agent to see their contracts...  They actually gave me another option (as my broker pushed them) of providing history of rental income but I didn't have that going back as far as they needed.  Anyway I ended up with the 66.5% LTV which still allowed me to release some equity and move onto a much more competitive deal than I was on so was pretty happy.  My broker was excellent throughout which I suppose is half the battle with getting the mortgage through :)

 

If I'm in York would be good to catch up in an independent lesser known coffee shop! ;)

 

Any other detailed help you need on Airbnb and what I've learnt over the years I'm happy to help.

 

Ollie

 

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Tyler

 

Any progress towards a purchase in York? I rent my spare room on AirBnB, we live just outside York in Dunnington.

 

I have just bought a flat in the New Hungate development, thought this could also be used for service accomodation potentially, hoping to get first tennants in there within a month from now.

 

There have been some flats for sale in the centre of town for ages, at Peckets loft that have been holiday rents I think.

 

Regards

 

Giles.

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Hi Giles

 

Thanks for your message. After some research and looking at properties, I've decided to put buying a holiday let in York on hold. I'm looking at a more traditional BTL in another area where prices are a bit more affordable. However, I have established a small airbnb property management company for York that is going well. I look after 12 listings (including a spare room in my house) with 6 more in the pipeline. This has been helpful to understand holiday letting in York and will no doubt be useful when I eventually do buy a holiday let in York. 

 

I think you can do very well letting on airbnb in York at the moment. The combination of the week pound with a shortage of reasonably priced accommodation makes for some good returns from what I see managing other people's properties. Of course, it seems more and more listings are making it to airbnb every week and the pound (probably) won't be so low forever, buy York is probably enough of a draw to stay busy for the foreseeable future unless there is some sort of a crack down on airbnb. 

 

How have you found hosting in Dunnington? Have you been busy of late? The New Hungate flats look lovely; I'm sure they would be great on airbnb too if it is allowed! Not sure if you are interested, but we run a meetup for airbnb hosts in York and the area. It's an informal gathering of other hosts or people interested in hosting. We have about 45 members and have done two meetups thus far that went pretty well. If you are interested, you can join at the link below. 

 

Best wishes

Tyler

 

 

 

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Hey Tyler

 

thanks for the reply. We don't rent the spare room that offen, 2-3 times per month at weekends usually. We don't open it up for renting much so that's our choice really. Good demand here, lots of people visiting their children at University. It's an annexe to the house so ideal really. 

 

Will have a look look at the group. 

 

Regards

 

Giles

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