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Homeowners prepare for 2012 Olympics gold rush

HomeAway Holiday-Rentals UK General Manager Tim Boughton said: "The switch from hotels to holiday rental has been steadily increasing, with particularly high spikes in demand around major global sporting events.

"For the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, many visitors sought out holiday rental properties as an alternative to a hotel, which meant the average weekly income generated per property soared by almost 150%. However, even at this increased rate, holiday home rentals still often work out far cheaper than similar standard hotels, making them a highly-attractive option for tourists.

"As London plays host to visitors from around the world, we anticipate demand for London properties to rocket, particularly those properties in close proximity to the key Olympics sites, with good transport links to London’s top attractions."

HomeAway Holiday-Rentals has been tracking the growing demand for rental properties, with the site reporting that in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, booking inquiries spiked by more than 1000% compared to the same period during in 2009.

Savvy owners quickly caught onto the demand driven trend, with property listings in the area increasing by 70% and weekly rental rates being raised by almost 150%. Based on these figures, the average South Africa property owner renting out their home stood to make £1700 per week during the 2010 World Cup.

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