A rural Cotswold cottage [Credit: Notgrove Holidays]

Wealthy Londoners head for rural holiday rentals

UK: As the cases of coronavirus in the capital increase, many holiday rentals are seeing an upsurge in business from Londoners.

The luxury rental market is seeing the most growth, with wealthy Londoners spending significant cash on an escape.

Popular locations for those seeking escape include the Cotswolds, Norfolk, Devon, Cornwall and the lake district, all usual holiday spots. The majority of enquiries recorded are for coastal or countryside spaces, with many seeking self-isolation in a comfortable manner.

Bella Seel, founder of travel company ALS Sun, told The Telegraph: “I have clients who have never rented out their homes who are now are thinking: ‘If people are offering crazy money and I can rent it out for £30,000, why the hell not?'”

Due to the sense of urgency, many are willing to spend double the average price on a high-end property. Seel noted prices of $70,000 a month for some properties, with others paying more to avoid a long rental clause.

Nigel Stengard-Green, managing director of Luxury Cotswold Rentals, has noted a doubling in online traffic, and a 150 per cent growth in bookings.

With London considering moving to a lockdown situation, many families are looking for last minute accommodation. A bill was passed this morning to expand the governments’ powers to manage people, and the PM has promised stricter control measures.

Hospitality has for the most part seen a downturn due to the virus, with many firms announcing policies surrounding travel and the pandemic. Airbnb has added a unique virus cancellation policy allowing any visitor to claim a full refund.

Rural property owners welcome this uptick in business as the industry struggles but worry about the effect it will have on its communities. Visit Cornwall has advised travellers not to come for fear of the virus spreading further in the rural county.

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, told the Daily Mail: “I appeal to those thinking of travelling down to their second home or caravan to self-isolate to consider the potential impact on local health services here in Gwynedd. Please heed the concerns of local GPs and remain at your primary residence.”

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