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Forget Cornwall: this seaside town is the new holiday home capital

In Seahouses, rental income was up 36pc to £29,700 a year - Travellinglight/Alamy Stock Photo

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Cornwall undoubtedly holds the title of Britain’s favourite holiday destination, with more than five millions visitors a year.

But a new report suggests that, for investors at least, the new holiday home capital is at the other end of the country.

Analysis by Sykes Holiday Cottages found that holiday let owners in Northumberland, north-east England, saw their profits soar by more than a third since last year. By contrast, rental yields were up by 8pc in Cornwall, the company said.

The holiday cottage rental agency’s report compared the average annual income for holiday lets on its books in villages in 2022 and 2023. It found that the four villages where income had risen the most were all based in Northumberland.


In Seahouses, a village within the Northumberland Coast National Landscapes area, rental income was up 36pc to £29,700 a year.

It was followed by Bamburgh, further to the north, where income rose by a quarter to £30,100. Alnwick and Alnmouth also saw higher-than-average rental growth, the report found.

The news was welcomed by Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, who said tourist numbers had been growing steadily in recent years.

He added: “It’s great to see holiday cottage demand and yield thrive in so many different areas of Northumberland which reflects the growing interest in the amazing attractions, places, and experiences available in the county.

“Northumberland provides a great opportunity for property owners whether they are based on our stunning coastline, within our tranquil landscapes or in the heart of our traditional towns and villages.”

Overall income was highest in Grasmere, Cumbria, where holiday let owners made £43,100 a year in 2023.

In Ambleside, just north of Windermere, the average income was £32,900 a year, the analysis showed.

Sykes’ data showed the average income for a British holiday let owner is £24,500. A quarter of holiday let owners use their property to generate income during retirement, the agency said.

Picturesque towns like Bamburgh in Northumberland have seen an uptick in visitors - Clearview/Alamy Stock Photo

Graham Donoghue, of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “With a wide range of things for travellers to see and do in Northumberland – including easy access to a National Park and beaches – it isn’t surprising to see that holiday let owners are experiencing a significant increase in their bookings and annual incomes as a result.”

It comes amid a government crackdown on holiday let owners, which has seen property owners.

In the Budget, Chancellor Jemery Hunt abolished the furnished holiday lettings regime that previously allowed holiday let owners to qualify for “business asset disposal relief”, which allowed owners to pay capital gains tax at 10pc when they sell.

It comes as HMRC launched nearly 2,000 inquiries into holiday lets in the 2023 financial year – a 20-fold increase from the year before – as the tax man takes aim at the boom in Airbnb and other short-term lets since the pandemic-fuelled staycation boom.