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It will be a while before Airbnbs and short-term holiday letting will be in full swing again, but property owners – especially in coastal towns – are already asking themselves whether they should holiday let or rather look at long-term letting.

Kim Peacock, broker/owner of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors in Ballito, explains the market conditions for letting homes on Durban’s North Coast. “When it comes to long-term letting, the properties that are trending at the moment are lower-end one- and two-bedroom apartments, freestanding pet-friendly homes in secure estates featuring three or four bedrooms, and freestanding three- and four-bedroom homes outside of estates that offer pet-friendly options.” She says on the North Coast, freestanding properties and two-bedroom apartments that aren’t on the beach, yield the highest returns.

“For short-term letting, Airbnb is a well-known platform that’s becoming more popular here, with more people considering holiday rentals for their investment properties. One-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units closer to the beach are especially popular for this option. The lack of hotels on the North Coast, combined with it being a popular destination for young families and its close proximity to the airport, add to the success of properties listed on Airbnb,” Peacock explains.

All the positives

Some of the pros of long-term letting include:

  • A fixed monthly income which means exact profit or monthly returns can be calculated
  • Less wear and tear on the property as different tenants are not in and out frequently
  • An annual increase of around 10% (depending on your market)
  • Knowing that your home is being maintained as there’s always someone on site giving feedback should something go wrong
  • From a security aspect, a lower risk of break-ins as your property will not be standing empty for lengthy periods of time

The pros of holiday letting on platforms like Airbnb, whenever that will be allowed again, include:

  • The platform is easy to use, and popular worldwide
  • Payment is guaranteed
  • Your property is shown to people all over the world, giving you a large audience
  • The reviews safeguard both the “traveller” and “host” concurrently, allowing the platform to “self-cleanse”
  • The platform has proven its credibility during Covid-19 by refunding deposits for people who could no longer travel

Unless you’re in the business of rentals, it’s perhaps best to work with a rental agency to assist in setting your rent at the correct level to attract maximum occupancy and also to advise on the best options.

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