Worldwide: A recent analysis study by Savills and Vrbo® has revealed that internet access is the most important amenity when deciding on a vacation rental, not just for travellers but also for second home owners thinking about purchasing a second home.
For the Savills Second Homes Report, Savills Research surveyed 7,800 property owners who list their properties on Vrbo in ten major markets worldwide (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, New Zealand and Brazil), as well as some 6,800 travellers in the same ten countries who use the Vrbo platform for vacation rental bookings.
According to the Savills Second Homes Report, 64 per cent of second home owners and 46 per cent of travellers placed the highest importance when choosing a vacation home on having internet access, with any access being more important than high-speed access. The latter ranked as the second most important amenity for over half (54 per cent) of all owners responding to the survey and around a third of all travellers.
Other factors considered essential by owners in addition to internet access vary with the nationality of respondents.
While 55 per cent of Greek, 25 per cent of Portuguese and 19 per cent of Italian owners consider a balcony or terrace as essential, American owners (47 per cent), prefer air-conditioning. Meanwhile, British holiday home owners (30 per cent) value access to a swimming pool and French (30 per cent) look for reserved car parking.
Looking at the preferences of travellers, parking, a patio or balcony and a TV are deemed among the most desirable amenities within vacation rentals.
Just under half of survey respondents who purchased a second home in 2019 did so with the intention of renting it out on a short-term basis as well, instead of ‘own use’ exclusively as the primary reason for purchase.
Owners who choose to rent out their second home do so for a variety of reasons but a source of income and covering costs are the main drivers. Therefore, the health of the vacation rental market is increasingly vital to these owners.
The number of days a property is occupied and how this has changed is a good measure of the market, which is reflected in the Savills Research report. Across each country in the survey, a third of owners said they had seen their booking rates increase over the past year, while a further 45 per cent said it stayed the same.