As more of the UK population embraces 'staycations' the parks sector is set to benefit from investment according to Colliers International.
Holiday park specialist Colliers International has reported a three-fold increase in enquiries from potential purchasers as the ‘new normal’ resulting from COVID-19 creates a new focus upon the sector.
Richard Moss, head of UK Parks Agency at the global real estate advisor, said: “While lockdown inevitably impacted short term trading opportunity, the indications are that the UK parks sector is robust and resilient.
“Already, our clients are seeing a significant ‘bounce’ in both letting and holiday home sales activity. In terms of park sales, there has been a massive hike in general enquiries, around a three-fold uplift in buyers contacting us.”
Moss said that the resilience of the market was demonstrated by way in which even during the lockdown, Colliers had completed a number of sales, notably Thornton Lodges and Staxton Vale in North Yorkshire; Lagnakeil Highland Lodges near Oban; and the Plas Isaf lodge development scheme in Flintshire, North Wales; as well as putting a number of parks under offer across the UK.
Moss added that the trend towards ‘staycation’ breaks was already benefitting the UK parks market, and all the signs were that this was set to continue as people decided to go on holiday in the UK instead of abroad.
“Humans are natural explorers and social creatures, and will continue to want to go on holiday,” he said.
“The ‘grey’ market will have the time and money, whilst the younger and family market will recognise the body and mind benefits of holidaying in the UK.
“People want more experiences, not things, and there are clear prospects that the UK parks sector will benefit from an enforced domestic trade spike that will be present for the foreseeable future.”
Moss said the strong fundamentals of the UK parks market made it attractive to investors and developers, as well as to lifestyle buyers.
He said: “Of course, high level investors are mindful of trading conditions over the coming years given the fall out of the pandemic, but it is clear that UK holiday parks are a hugely attractive asset class, particularly comparatively, with a more than sustainable demand for the end product. We anticipate a very competitive market place over the next 12 months.
“In terms of the private market, we also anticipate an increase of lifestyle purchasers, often using their pension pots to buy because of the solid returns at a time of low interest rates. At a time when some people are reflecting their lifestyles and may wish to turn their backs on working in cities, buying a leisure park business in a location of their choice is a real alternative for those looking for a change, particularly where the move has been enforced in the event of redundancy or having to downsize.”