DEMAND is increasing for self-catering staycations in Scotland and more holiday homes are coming on to the market, according to letting agencies.

Sykes holiday company has reported a 65% year-on-year increase in new property enquiries, with ones already on the market making an average income of £16,000 a year. In the Highlands, the most popular region for travel in Scotland last year in the midst of the pandemic, a three-bedroom property averages almost £19,000 in revenue annually.

“Rewards are substantial,” said the company, adding that would-be holiday homeowners are “clearly recognising the revenue opportunity that lies ahead”.

The company said bookings from holidaymakers for self-catering cottages are “rolling in” for 2022, with the market likely to continue to grow in Scotland.

“The appetite for Scotland as a first-choice travel destination has reached new highs,” said the company.

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Another letting agency said Scottish holiday lets in 2022 are up 121% on where they were this time last year – with demand raising prices by as much as 60%.

“Continuing high demand is also translating into greater returns for our property owners, particularly on the higher-end larger properties where some saw an increase of 60% last year compared to 2019,” said a spokesperson for

LHH, which is based on the Black Isle, told the Sunday National that demand is still high for staycations in self-catering properties, even though people can travel abroad more easily as a result of restrictions lifting.

The company also said more homes are coming on to the self-catering market.

“We have had quite a lot of inquiries in last few weeks, now things are looking a bit brighter, from people that put things on hold during Covid,” said a spokesperson.

While there is concern that second-home lets are having a huge impact on areas already suffering from depopulation, LHH said communities were benefiting from the boom in staycations, as visitors are becoming more aware of the need to support local shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

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“Before people would shop before they go, whereas now they are contacting us wanting information about the local shops,” said the spokesperson. “People are a lot more aware of the need for their money to go locally so I think that will be a big benefit.

“I think the pandemic has sparked something in people actually and I think it will help communities. There has been a real understanding of the difficulties for small businesses during the pandemic and I hear more people asking about the local shops – that is different because before they wanted to know where the nearest supermarket was. They are also very supportive of cafes and restaurants now, rather than taking picnics.”

Bookings for LHH properties are coming in fast for the coming year, she said.

“It’s looking really good, demand is still high and even though people can travel more, I think they are still being a little bit more cautious,” said the spokeswoman. “Because things have changed so quickly and so often, I think they are just saying ‘oh well we will just stay at home’.”

LHH said people had also been inspired by pictures of their friends’ holidays that they had seen online.

“There has been so much online in the last two years I think it has rekindled interest and passion for our own country,” said the spokeswoman. “People are realising we do have quite a lot to offer so why not holiday here.”

Melrose-based Unique Cottages is also reporting a “strong demand” for self-catering accommodation across Scotland.

“The demand is coming from across the UK and we are starting to see an increase in enquiries and bookings from Europe,” said a spokesperson.